March 18, 2023 | 6:21 p.m.
A sick second officer has sued after dealing with Dr John Santucci.
NYU Langone Health
A Queens cop 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 accommodate chemotherapy, according to a trial.
Nicole Seaman, 33, said the decision to bring her back to duty put her at risk of a medical emergency “and even death”.
His medical history, including a host of health issues stemming from his 2018 diagnosis, apparently wouldn’t matter to NYPD physician John Santucci, Seaman claimed in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit against the city. and the doctor.
“Why do I care whether you have a port or not? Santucci reportedly told him. “If you can’t work full time, you’re no use to the NYPD.”
Seaman joined the force in 2014 and was just weeks on maternity leave after the birth of her first child in June 2018 when she received a devastating diagnosis: ‘triple-negative’ stage 2 breast cancer, ‘which has the grimmest chance of survival,” she said in the March 3 legal filing.
The disease has a survival rate of 77%.
Seaman underwent 12 breast cancer and reconstruction surgeries and was out of work until returning in 2020 to restricted duty while meeting with NYPD doctors monthly.
Santucci resumed her case in 2021 and would “admonish her” every time 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 you gone by the end of the day.”
Santucci ordered Seaman back to duty in August, although she still requires port and cannot wear a body armor.
“The NYPD Medical Division would rather reprimand a police officer who is fighting for his life against the most aggressive form of breast cancer than welcome him,” said his attorney, John Scola.
Seaman, who is the second officer with cancer to sue Santucci for harassment, is seeking unspecified damages.
A spokesperson for the legal department said the city is reviewing the complaint.
The NYPD declined to comment.
Santucci, who is represented by the Captain’s Endowment Association, declined to comment, but his union said cops who have been absent for a long time are referred to an independent medical board to determine if they are fit for duty.
“Dr. Santucci followed all rules and regulations,” said CEA Director Chris Monahan.