Woman Files NY Plastic Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit Against Former Employer

Laura Woods | October 6th, 2014

Scales of justice and gavelA woman has filed a NY plastic surgery malpractice lawsuit against her former employer. Christine Palumbo was fired from Park Avenue Aesthetic Surgery in April for not being a “team player,” and she is now accusing her former employer of serious medical malpractice.

According to court papers filed by Palumbo, Dr. Lopa Gupta did not properly clean surgical tools prior to operating on patients, continued to use medical equipment that should have been disposed of and ordered staffers to flush “the fat from the liposuction procedures down the toilet.”

Palumbo says Dr. Gupta’s office manager, Ann Mueller, was only permitted to call the medical waste disposal company periodically, due to hefty costs for the service.

Instead of disposing of “sutures that were used in a prior patient’s procedure,” the surgeon ordered staffers to clean them with alcohol for use on other patients. When workers protested the less-than-sanitary practices, Mueller would reply, “Certain things in this office are not to be discussed,” alleges Palumbo.

Receptionist allegedly forced to complete dangerous work

Palumbo worked as a part-time receptionist at Dr. Gupta’s Manhattan and Westchester offices from February through April of this year. However, in addition to her administrative duties, she alleges the surgeon had her assist with liposuction procedures and help with the cleanup afterwards.

“Gupta was only sterilizing surgical instruments in the autoclave (equipment used to thoroughly sterilize medical tools) once a month,” state court papers.

“In addition, Dr. Gupta directed her staff to use a toothbrush with the blue cleaning solution (which was changed once every 30 days) in a metal tray to clean the instruments after each use.”

Palumbo alleges that Dr. Gupta, who has been in practice for more than 20 years, left three liposuction procedures early, allowing a nurse to finish up.

Additionally, she allegedly violated New York laws by providing patients with a “goody bag” of Vicodin pills after surgery, without writing a prescription. Palumbo claims that one patient got into an accident while driving home from surgery and the police found the Vicodin in his car. When he called Dr. Gupta afterwards asking her to write a letter that she supplied him with the drugs, she became “upset and nervous.”

Dr. Gupta denies all of Palumbo’s allegations.

In 2009, a patient filed a separate plastic surgery medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Gupta in Manhattan Supreme Court, but the case was dismissed.

Legal recourse after plastic surgery malpractice

When undergoing a plastic surgery procedure, you expect to receive the highest levels of care. However, some physicians may deviate from the accepted protocols, providing substandard medical treatment that poses risk for injury or death. If you or a loved one has experienced plastic surgery malpractice in New York, it’s important to know your rights. You need to discuss your case with a veteran attorney to ensure your receive proper legal representation.

The New York medical negligence lawyers at The Sanders Firm are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims living in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and Long Island. Call us at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY (1-800-324-7752) to schedule complimentary evaluation of your case.


  1. New York Daily News, City Plastic Surgeon Accused of Not Disinfecting Tools, Flushing Fat Down Toilet http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/plastic-surgeon-accused-disinfecting-tools-article-1.1942848

  2. New York Post, Plastic Surgeon Reused Dirty Instruments, Flushed Lipo Fat Illegally: Suit http://nypost.com/2014/09/17/plastic-surgeon-reused-dirty-instruments-gave-out-vicodin-suit/