The National Enquirer published several deathbed photos of Bobbi Kristina Brown on Wednesday, with one of the shocking pictures plastered on the front of cover of the magazine’s latest issue. Family members are upset over the invasion of privacy and are determined to take whatever legal action that they can.
Fox 411 reports that an undisclosed family friend said that the “the families are livid,” indicating that both the Brown family and the Houston family are reportedly as equally as angry about the leaked photos.
At this point, they are trying to figure out what legal rights they have and what actions can be taken against the person who took the photos and allegedly sold them for more than $100,000.
“They are indeed exploring legal action if only to find out who did it.”
Per Julian Chan, an entertainment attorney, Bobbi Kristina had the legal right to privacy, and whoever violated that right can be sued for numerous infractions.
“The family can sue for invasion of privacy, as well as for trespass for entering the room to take the picture. They can also sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress, since — as you can imagine — a picture like that especially in a printed magazine [would cause distress].”
So far, there has only been rumors and speculations as to who actually snapped the pictures, but shortly after the information was leaked, most members of the Brown side of Bobbi Kristina’s family were banned from visiting her at the Peachtree Christian Hospice center, where the photos of her were taken.
In addition to a civil lawsuit, Chan points out that there is a possibility that the culprit may also face criminal charges.
“For example, if a doctor took the pictures and sold them to The National Enquirer, that could be a breach of HIPAA and criminal charges might be possible.”
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, was set in place by the U.S. Congress to protect the privacy of individual health information, including protection from healthcare workers snapping photos of patients.
Yet, HIPAA laws are not as obvious when it comes to family or friends taking photos of the patient. Unless the family member or friend is a healthcare worker, they are exempt from HIPAA laws.
However, there is always the chance that the family can file suit not only against the person that took the photo, but also the hospice care for failing to prevent photographs from being snapped. Even then, according to Kate Borten, CISSP, CISM, the hospice care is generally not responsible.
“Organizations are responsible for the actions of their workforce, but not for the rest of the world.”
After surviving more than six months with global and irreversible brain damage, Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away on July 26. She was buried next to her mother, the late R&B singer Whitney Houston, on August 3.
[Photo Courtesy of Moses Robinson / Getty Images & Marcus Ingram / Getty Images]