March 18, 2023 | 6:21 pm
A second ailing officer has now filed a lawsuit after dealing with Dr. John Santucci.
NYU Langone Health
A Queens police officer battling aggressive breast cancer claims the NYPD’s deputy chief surgeon “harassed” her — forcing her to return to work despite having a port implanted in her chest to allow for chemotherapy , according to a lawsuit.
Nicole Seaman, 33, said the move to return to full employment put her at risk of a medical emergency “and even death”.
Her medical history, which included a myriad of health issues stemming from her 2018 diagnosis, reportedly didn’t matter to NYPD physician John Santucci, Seaman alleged in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit against the city and the doctor.
“Why do I care if you have a port or not?” Santucci would have told her. “If you can’t work full time, the NYPD is no use to you.”
Seaman joined the force in 2014 and was on maternity leave just weeks after giving birth to her first child in June 2018 when she received a devastating diagnosis: stage 2 “triple negative” breast cancer, “which has the starkest survival rate,” she said. said in the March 3 legal filing.
The disease has a survival rate of 77%.
Seaman has had 12 surgeries for the cancer and reconstruction of her breasts and was unemployed until returning in 2020 on limited duty while meeting NYPD doctors monthly.
Santucci took over her case in 2021 and “would call her names” whenever they met, Seaman said in the lawsuit.
“You don’t know how powerful I am,” he told the officer, according to the lawsuit. “I could have let you go by the end of the day.”
Santucci ordered Seaman to return to full service in August, even though she still needs port and can’t wear a body armor.
“The NYPD medical department would rather scold a police officer who is fighting for her life against the most aggressive form of breast cancer than accommodate her,” said her attorney, John Scola.
Seaman, the second cancer-stricken officer to sue Santucci for harassment, is seeking unspecified damages.
A spokesman for the legal department said the city is investigating the complaint.
The NYPD declined comment.
Santucci, who is represented by the Captain’s Endowment Association, declined to comment, but his union said officers absent for extended periods are referred to an independent medical board to determine if they are fit for duty.
“Dr. Santucci followed all rules and regulations,” said CEA head Chris Monahan.