(KMOV.com) - The phone camera recording of Dr. Thomas Fleming’s vulgar rant caught the longtime eye surgeon cussing out Jamesetta Lampley, the woman who recorded it.
Lampley was the care provider for her mentally challenged aunt, who was Dr. Fleming’s patient. Dr. Fleming is employed by Quantum Vision Centers. The incident took place at Quantum’s office in Swansea.
In the recording, Dr. Fleming is heard repeatedly cursing at Lampley who was in the exam room with her aunt waiting for Fleming to perform out-patient laser surgery. Dr. Fleming tells Lampley that people on government aid “shouldn’t be whining” about a longer wait to see a physician. He calls Lampley, who is African-American, “sister.”
Fleming was upset because he says employees told him that Lampley was disruptive in the lobby and complained loudly about waiting longer than other patients because she wasn’t white, a claim she denies. Fleming felt offended and believed Lampley was implying he was racist.
In emails to News 4, Dr. Fleming said he regretted his role in escalating the emotions of the day, but insisted that Mrs. Lampley’s behavior “caused all of this.”
In an email to News 4 Investigates today, Dr. Mike Jones, who was representing Quantum said, “It is also my understanding that Dr. Fleming has contacted you directly, and any statements he made were not condoned by Quantum nor a reflection of our policies. I will say that Dr. Fleming did participate in our internal investigation and complied with the actions taken based on those findings.”
Dr. Jones also provided the company’s written statement:
“For more than 30 years, Quantum Vision Centers has provided a complete system of care to patients in need and we will continue to serve our community in this way. When we became aware of this incident, we took timely and appropriate action which we believe will prevent any future issues of this nature. In moving forward, we look forward to keeping focus on our mission of helping patients in the St. Louis Metro area see well for life.”