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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
Clooney hospital punishes staff
George Clooney and Sarah Larson
Clooney and girlfriend Sarah Larson were injured in the accident
Hospital workers in New Jersey have been suspended for allegedly looking at Hollywood star George Clooney's confidential medical records.

The actor was admitted to the Palisades Medical Center last month after breaking a rib in a motorcycle crash.

The 27 staff were suspended for four weeks without pay, for improperly accessing his records.

Mr Clooney, 46, said he had only learnt of the situation this week, and hoped the matter could be resolved.

"This is the first I've heard of it," the Ocean's 11 star said in a statement.

"And while I very much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers."

The Academy Award-winner and former star of the medical drama series ER was admitted to the hospital with his girlfriend Sarah Larson, who broke a foot in the accident.

Eurice Rojas, the hospital's vice-president of external affairs, told local newspaper The Jersey Journal that hospital officials did not believe their employees had leaked Clooney's medical information, but some did improperly access his records.

A spokeswoman for the union representing some of the workers said they had been suspended without pay for four weeks.

"We believe this is a harsh penalty and an overreaction," said Jeanne Oterson, a spokeswoman for the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union.

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