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California doctor performs surgery during Zoom court trial

A Sacramento Superior Court Commissioner rescheduled the trial for a day when Dr. Scott Green wasn't operating on someone.
Dr. Scott Green appears in scrubs and a surgical mask during a virtual court trial.
Dr. Scott Green appears in scrubs and a surgical mask during a virtual court trial.Sacramento Superior Court
/ Source: NBC News

A Sacramento plastic surgeon showed up to his Zoom traffic court trial while in the middle of operating on a patient.

The incident is the latest mundane court proceeding to take an interesting turn in the age of the coronavirus, videoconferencing and remote work.

Just weeks after a viral video of a Texas lawyer who could not turn off a kitten filter during a Zoom court appearance, Dr. Scott Green appeared in a virtual courtroom Thursday from an operating room dressed in scrubs and a surgical mask.

Despite some hesitation from a courtroom clerk, Green insisted that they move forward with the trial.

“Mr. Green. Hi. Are you available for trial? It kind of looks like you’re in an operating room right now," the clerk said in a video captured by The Sacramento Bee.

"I am, sir. I'm in an operating room. Yes, I'm available for trial. Go right ahead," Green replies.

As the court waits for the Sacramento Superior Court Commissioner, Green appears to go back to operating on the patient as the nurse films.

While Green was ready to show off his multitasking skills, Commissioner Gary Link wasn't pleased and expressed concern about the welfare of the patient.

“Unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant that’s in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient," Link says. "Is that correct, Mr. Green?”

"Yes, sir,” Green says.

Link, saying he's not comfortable moving forward with the trial, reschedules the date for March 4.

“We want to keep people healthy. We want to keep them alive," he says. "That’s important.”

When asked about The Sacramento Bee's report and his court hearing, Green said: “That's not accurate and I have nothing to say. Thank you.”

He ended the call.

The Medical Board of California said Saturday it "is aware of the incident and will be looking into it, as it does with all complaints it receives."

Spokesman Carlos Villatoro said the board "expects physicians to follow the standard of care when treating their patients."

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