Florida health system hit with proposed class-action lawsuit over data breach

A Florida resident has brought a lawsuit versus UF Wellbeing Central Florida immediately after a facts breach perhaps exposed the information of additional than seven-hundred,000 folks.

According to the criticism, which was taken out to the U.S. District Courtroom for the Middle District of Florida this past Thursday, Chrystal Holmes is accusing the program of failing to effectively safe and safeguard individually identifiable information.  

“In spite of the prevalence of community bulletins of facts breach and facts safety compromises, UFHCF failed to choose acceptable methods to secure the PII and PHI of [the] plaintiff and the proposed class from being compromised,” go through court documents.  

Makes an attempt to arrive at UFHCF for remark ended up not successful.

WHY IT Issues  

As reported to the U.S. Division of Wellbeing and Human Services’ Place of work of Civil Legal rights, UFHCF expert a hacking incident before this calendar year foremost to the opportunity publicity of seven-hundred,981 individuals’ facts.

In between May perhaps 29 and May perhaps 31, negative actors received unauthorized accessibility to UFHCF’s computer network.  

For the duration of that period, stated a recognize posted to the UFHCF web-site at the stop of July, patient information – together with names, addresses, dates of start, Social Protection numbers, well being coverage information, health-related file numbers and patient account numbers, as properly as confined treatment information employed for UF Health’s small business operations – may have been accessible.  

“Until finally notified of the breach,” Holmes and the other impacted folks in the proposed class “had no plan their PII and PHI had been compromised, and that they ended up, and continue to be, at important hazard of id theft and many other varieties of particular, social and monetary harm,” go through the criticism. 

“The hazard will keep on being for their respective lifetimes,” it continued.  

According to court documents, the truth that the incident took location implies that UFHCF had not adhered to arduous safety protocols, together with individuals suggested by the U.S. govt.  

“The occurrence of the cybersecurity function indicates that defendants failed to adequately put into practice … actions to prevent ransomware assaults,” stated the criticism.  

Holmes, through her lawyers, argues that the information compromised in the cybersecurity function is “noticeably additional useful” than credit score card information.   

As a substitute, particular information these as name, tackle, day of start and Social Protection variety “is extremely hard to ‘close’ and tricky, if not extremely hard, to transform,” go through court documents.  

Holmes is accusing UFHCF of carelessness, breach of agreement and breach of fiduciary obligation.  

“Plaintiff and class associates have a continuing desire in guaranteeing that their information is and remains secure, and they need to be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief,” argued the criticism.  

THE More substantial Trend  

Numerous of the major cybersecurity incidents in excess of the past calendar year have been followed by lawsuits accusing healthcare corporations of failing to adequately secure patient information.  

Previously this calendar year, Scripps Wellbeing in San Diego confronted many complaints immediately after a ransomware incident led to a substantial network shutdown.  

And in September, a cancer patient sued UC San Diego Wellbeing in excess of a safety breach that perhaps exposed the private information of 495,949 individuals.  

ON THE Document  

“The ramifications of UFHCF’s failure to retain safe UFHCF’s existing and previous patients’ PII and PHI are prolonged long lasting and significant,” stated the criticism. “Once PII and PHI is stolen, notably Social Protection numbers, fraudulent use of that information and injury to victims may continue for several years.”

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Health care IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
E-mail: [email protected]
Health care IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.