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St. Joseph's Health System Facing Patient Data Breach Class Action


Santa Rosa, CA: A privacy class action lawsuit has been filed against St. Joseph Health System, which operates Santa Rosa Memorial, Petaluma Valley and Queen of the Valley hospitals, for allowing private patient data to be searchable online for 31,800 patients across the system' California hospitals, including about 10,000 patients locally.

The suit, filed by two patients on April 2 in Sonoma County, claims the health system was "negligent"and that it "unlawfully failed to maintain and preserve the confidentiality"of patients' information.

The lawsuit was filed by Deanna DeBaeke and Loba Moon, who say they were both patients in Sonoma County. According to the suit, Ms. DeBaeke was a patient at Santa Rosa Memorial in April 2011. Earlier this year, she ran a search of her name on Google from her cell phone. Among the results she claims she found were three reports from the health system related to her treatment, including her patient account number and admission or readmission dates, among other information.

Ms. Moon alleges she was a patient at Memorial in 2011. She received notification from the health system and found that her information was searchable online for as long as seven months, according the the court complaint.

The remainder of affected patients were in Southern California hospitals operated by the health system, specifically Mission Hospital and St. Jude Medical Center, both in Orange County.

At the time of the breach, the health system said the information that was searchable did not include full medical records and that social security numbers, patient addresses and financial data were not disclosed.

However, the plaintiffs allege that what was visible by search included patient data including patient names, body mass index, smoking status, blood pressure, lab results, diagnoses, allergies, demographic info including spoken language, ethnicity, race, gender, birth date and advance directive, which tells health care providers patient wishes for treatment and decision-making.

The lawsuit alleges that personal and medical information was in unencrypted electronic reports that were saved in a health system internal database between February and August 2011. "The electronic reports were not encrypted, were not password protected and did not contain or use any other form of electronic protection,"the lawsuit claims.

The suit is seeking $1,000 per patient, which would total $31.8 million for all the California patients involved, according to the complaint.

St. Joseph's Patient Data Breach Class Action Legal Help

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Published on Apr-9-12


READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Lela Moore
on
I had a child 4-29-15 at queen of the valley in Napa county, one of the nurses made false claims against our family resulting in the removal of our infant 8 days after birth, we have been harassed and suffer major mental anguish due to there poor response to us, they even jeopardized ( the mother and fathers) physical well being after the removal of the child and false allegations. They refused to send us the baby's medical records ( I have physical proof) and also did not provide us with any standard care. I can not put a monetary value on the damage this has done to everyone in our family including my daughter our bonding time has been breached, I (mom) could not even breast feed due to the false allegations. Ill be expecting a response and would presume a settlement and/or will seek a lawyer outside a class action lawsuit. Queen of Napa put my whole family's lives in jeoprody.

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