A former Long Island Jewish Medical Center morgue attendant shared "graphic and disturbing" autopsy photos and videos from inside the hospital on her Instagram and TikTok pages, even after she was terminated for her online posts, according to a lawsuit filed by Northwell Health.
The suit, filed last week in Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola, alleges that former Northwell employee Quantaise Sharpton posted "macabre" images and videos from inside the morgue during her short employment at the hospital earlier this year.
They include graphic images and videos of cadavers, some of which are paired with upbeat dance music. Other videos show Sharpton dancing inside the morgue, walking through the hospital or appearing to mock the smell or condition of the corpses.
"As a morgue attendant, Sharpton assumed a position of the utmost trust and confidence with Northwell," the suit states. "Sharpton took advantage of the trust given to her by Northwell for her own personal gain. Indeed, Sharpton’s posting of pictures and videos from the LIJMC morgue onto her social media platforms marks a gross deviation from the level of care and loyalty expected as Northwell’s employee."
Despite repeated efforts by Northwell, the state's largest hospital system, Sharpton refused to remove the "offensive" images and videos, the suit said.
Newsday reached out to Sharpton this week, both at her Brooklyn home and through her social media pages, but she did not respond. On Tuesday, some, but not all, of the images and videos filmed inside the morgue were removed from Sharpton's social media pages.
Sharpton, who refers to herself as “#autopsybae” online, has nearly 20,000 followers on Instagram and almost 1,000 on TikTok.
A Northwell spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
Sharpton was hired as a morgue attendant at the New Hyde Park hospital in late December and began work on Jan. 30 after completing mandatory training courses on subjects such as patient privacy, a prohibition on the use of cellphones in the morgue, inappropriate social media posting and the proper use of hospital resources, records show.
Sharpton's responsibilities, the suit states, included receiving and releasing bodies, transporting corpses through the morgue and cleaning and organizing the autopsy suite. Morgue attendants do not perform autopsies.
Despite the training, Sharpton began posting unauthorized photos and videos from the morgue only weeks after beginning her job, the hospital contends. In one deleted post, Sharpton confesses to being “obsessed with autopsies.”
Northwell terminated Sharpton on March 17 after a staffer alerted a supervisor to the posts. The hospital directed Sharpton to delete the photos and videos from her social media pages and cellphone before she left Northwell’s property and she appeared to comply, the suit said.
"Sharpton explained that she is a social media influencer and that she receives monthly revenue based on her posts, and that she viewed her morgue and autopsy photos and videos as social media 'content,' " Vartges Saroyan, Northwell's compliance program director and privacy officer, said in an affidavit accompanying the suit. "Sharpton expressed no remorse or regret for her conduct."
Days after her termination, Sharpton reposted the images and videos — apparently maintaining duplicates of the material — and added new, previously unpublished material, Northwell said.
"Northwell has already taken multiple steps to attempt to have these videos and photos deleted from Sharpton’s social media platforms," the suit states. "It left several messages with Sharpton that have gone unanswered, and it contacted the social media platforms where these images are posted to try to have them taken down. To date, those actions have not been successful."
The suit seeks for Sharpton to pay Northwell undetermined damages and for the court to issue a preliminary injunction ordering her to permanently delete the morgue photos and videos.