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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 19, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 42
Bone(r) of contention
Section One
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Bone(r) of contention

Porn studio employee sues after erection drug mishap

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A stagehand for a San Francisco porn studio has filed suit against his employers, claiming that he was wrongfully fired when he refused to inject performers with a controlled substance to prolong their erections.

In legal papers filed on October 12, Ronald Baker says he was instructed to inject performers for Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network with the prescription medication TriMix, and that he suffered emotional distress and anxiety-related health problems after accidently pricking his finger with a used needle.

TriMix is a three-drug cocktail used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is available only by prescription, and would normally be administered by a medical professional.

PLAYING DOCTOR
According to the complaint, 'Defendants require employees, who are not models and are not trained or certified in any manner to give injections, to inject controlled substances for erectile dysfunction using a hypodermic syringe into the model's penis. The model can then maintain an erection for multiple hours in duration, during which time substantial shooting of the film can take place at one time without lengthy breaks to ensure the actor maintains an erection.

'Defendants required its employees to perform injections when they have no skill, training, licensure, or special knowledge to perform such injections. They are not medical professionals and no medical professionals are on site at the time such injections are being performed,' the complaint states.

'They are injecting a controlled substance into all these models without checking with a doctor if it's OK for that person to have that prescription medication, and they are using people on the set to give the shots,' Baker's attorney Elisa Stewart said. 'You have to be a nurse in the state of California to give an injection.'

Baker says he quickly washed his hands after the accident with the used needle, and was told to stop the shoot.

Although the model said he was HIV-negative, the employer could not confirm that and 'had no idea how to respond to plaintiff's apparent exposure,' the complaint states.

BAKER NOT INFECTED
Baker says he tested negative for HIV and hepatitis C after the incident, but when he learned that his employer procured the TriMix illegally, he said, he refused to continue giving injections and hired an attorney. The companies stopped paying his wages and health benefits shortly after that, he says.

Baker is suing for wrongful termination, emotional distress, and violations of labor and professional business codes.

Also named as defendants are AEBN subsidiaries Falcon Studios, Raging Stallion Studios, Data Tech Ventures LLC, Datatech Enterprises LLC, and Datatech Systems LLC.

LACK OF SCREENING ALLEGED
Baker says the models were not screened for HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, or hepatitis before the injections. And he claims the companies had no policies, protocols, or plans to prevent or respond to exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

'It is significant that defendants required its employees to perform injections in the penises of models engaged in pornography in which the employer does not know the HIV or hepatitis status of the models injected. Such conduct is startling given that the models are engaging in sexual conduct at the behest of the employer to shoot pornographic films for profit,' his complaint says.

Porn production in the U.S. is estimated to be a billion-dollar industry, but porn companies have been criticized for refusing to implement health and safety precautions to protect performers and other workers. In November, Los Angeles County voters will decide on a ballot measure that would require porn performers to wear condoms. The county's major porn studios oppose the measure.

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