Springsteen Medical Records For Sale

Hospital documents from singer's 1949 birth hit auction block

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Springsteen Medical Records For Sale

5/24 UPDATE: Days after The Smoking Gun disclosed the attempted sale of Bruce Springsteen's medical records, the Leland's auction house has turned over the confidential material to the rock star after being contacted by The Boss's lawyers. Leland's spokesman Marty Appel said that the firm was approached by the "Springsteen camp" after TSG reported on the auction, and was asked to hand over the documents. The auction house complied, Appel said, because "we're such great admirers of Springsteen." We're guessing that the prospect of litigation probably also figured in the auctioneer's swift change of heart. The hospital documents (and another item carrying the singer's Social Security number) were apparently yanked from the firm's web site some time today.

MAY 20--A New York auction house is attempting to sell confidential medical records chronicling the September 1949 birth of Bruce Springsteen, The Smoking Gun has learned.

Nine documents from Monmouth Memorial Hospital in Long Branch, New Jersey are being offered for sale by auctioneer Leland's, which notes in a catalog description that that the records go into "great detail medically on the birth" of the 54-year-old rock star. The documents offered by Leland's include medical charts maintained by Dr. Frank Niemtzow and nurses who recorded the newborn Springsteen's skin rashes and bowel movements.

Records from the hospital (which has since been renamed Monmouth Medical Center) also include biographical information provided by Springsteen's parents, Douglas and Adele.

Here you will find three of the documents being offered for sale by Leland's, which posted the images on its web site, but has offered no details on how the confidential items were obtained.

Simeon Lipman, a Leland's official, told TSG that the medical records were part of a larger Springsteen collection consigned by a collector who Lipman declined to identify. Asked whether it was legal to be selling someone else's medical records, Lipman said, "That's a very good question."

Monmouth Medical Center spokesperson Kathy Horan told TSG that the hospital was concerned that the records were on the auction block, adding that officials had no idea how the material landed in private hands. Horan could not pinpoint when records from 1949 would have last been in the hospital's control, so it is virtually impossible to determine when the Springsteen documents could have been removed. "The only people who should have access to those are patients, their designated signee, or someone who gets access to them via a court order," added Horan.

The Springsteen items are part of a large collection of Americana, bids for which close June 3. And in case The Boss wasn't bothered enough by the sale of the medical records, Leland's is also selling his 1984 American Federation of Television and Radio Artists membership card, which prominently displayed the singer's Social Security number--until TSG reported this story. (4 pages)