Spy camera focus of lawsuit at medical facility and spa

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - A lawsuit filed by a formeremployee alleges that there was a camera in a Mount Pleasant doctor's officeexam room where patients completely disrobed and employees performedprocedures.

Belina Cannon, a former employee of the Blalock Family andUrgent Care, filed the suit against the business in August. The suit alleges aninvasion of privacy and negligence and seeks unspecified damages.

According to court filings, Cannon found in July the hidden cameraand listening device installed above a door and pointed toward an area wherepatients would undress in a room where she often performed her duties whichincluded laser hair removal.

Cannon said she would also change clothes in the room. Thesuit states that there is not an adjoining bathroom and there was an "absoluteexpectation of privacy" inside the room.

A patient of the facility joined the suit, saying she had onseveral occasions been fully nude in the room where the camera was found.

Two days after the camera was found, Cannon reported the incidentto Mount Pleasant police.

Dr. Cynthia Blalock filed a response with the court, denyingany wrongdoing. According to a police report, Blalock said the camera wasinstalled because of an issue with employees stealing from the company.

She told officers she had caught employees using Facebookand being rude to customers, adding she was the only person to review thefootage, the report states.

According to the filings, Blalock told police she hadwatched recorded video of the exam room for five hours before meeting withpolice and had amassed evidence that Cannon had been stealing from the medicalfacility.

"When asked whether she saw nude persons during her fivehours of viewing, she changed her story immediately, and denied that shereviewed the video," the filing reads.

Several days after talking to police, Cannon's attorneyssent a letter to Blalock telling her to preserve any data that may have beenrecorded on the camera and any software or hard drives where that informationwas kept.

Police noted in an incident report that the bathroom was atthe opposite end of the hallway even though massage gowns were hanging in theroom.

"It does not make sense that the clients would be expectedto change in the bathroom and walk through the hallway in a massage garmentwhere other patients could see them," the responding officer wrote in thereport.

Mount Pleasant police contacted the solicitor's office,according to a police report attached to the filings, to determine if any lawsapplied to the complaint.

Police also called the state Department of Labor, Licensingand Regulation.