Former Patient Files Lawsuit Against Dr. Peter Lafuria

May 11, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

Dr. Peter Lafuria is currently charged with one count of video voyeurism after a patient accused him of taking her picture without her permission. But another one of his former patients is now filing suit against the Lake Charles doctor.

"She feels violated. She trusted this doctor. He's been her doctor for 30 years. He's delivered her two children and she feels completely violated by someone that she trusted," said attorney Melanie Daley.

Attorneys Melanie Daley and Ron Richard are filing the lawsuit on behalf a client, who was called in Thursday by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office to identify one of the pictures found in Dr. Lafuria's procession.

"She went to the sheriff's department and indeed verified that the pictures of her are not just private pictures. They are actually pictures involving her face," said Richard.

"The photograph basically had been cropped and only showed her facial profile, but the photograph that had been taken initially showed her breast area as well," said Daley.

Daley says the picture was taken at an appointment on April 12th of this year, when her client was seeking Dr. Lafuria's medical treatment for a cold.

"She had a sore throat and he was going to listen to her chest and he asked her to raise her shirt, which she felt was kind of odd because generally the doctor will put the stethoscope under your shirt. However she did what the doctor told her to do. She raised her shirt, he asked her to turn her head to the left and cough," said Daley.

Investigators told her they believe it was during this time when Dr. Lafuria snapped the shot.

"They told her the camera was very small. We are under the assumption he was keeping it in his pocket," said Daley.

The lawsuit is requesting damages for mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, invasion of privacy, as well as present and future medical expenses.

"This woman is going to suffer this for the rest of her life. As you can imagine from now on, whenever she goes to any doctor -- she's going to be wanting to know -- what's he doing other than treating me. And that's a concern and that's the true damage," said Richard.

Daley and Richard say they have interviewed at least ten other women who feel they may have been victimized by Dr. Lafuria, however investigators have yet to identify them in any of the evidence taken into custody.

Meanwhile, Dr. Lafuria remains out on bond and for now has agreed not to practice medicine.