(PRWEB) November 23, 2011
Harris & Ruble, a prominent class-action law firm based in Los Angeles, announced their November 16, 2011, filing of a class-action lawsuit against Sutter Medical Foundation and Sutter Physician Services, alleging the medical provider did not properly safeguard medical information for more than 4 million of its patients affected by the mid-October theft of a computer from the Sutter Medical Foundation headquarters. The suit was filed on the same day that Sutter admitted the unencrypted stolen computer contained patients’ medical records.
Sutter officials have acknowledged this is the largest data breach the health network has ever experienced as it impacts millions of patients seen in their facilities between 2005 and 2011.
Filed in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of plaintiff Javier Garcia, Case # RG11604927, the class-action lawsuit alleges Sutter was negligent in protecting patient information stored in computer databases and failed to properly notify patients within the timeframes required by law.
In a press release issued on November 16, Sutter Health informed its patients that on the weekend of Oct. 15, 2011- a computer with unencrypted patient data was stolen from the administrative offices of the Sutter Medical Foundation in Sacramento. Sutter Health has informed its patients that the stolen data includes names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers, health insurance plans, and in some cases, descriptions of medical diagnoses or procedures.
The Defendants “utterly failed to protect private medical information for the millions of patients who entrusted with their healthcare and private information to these companies,” said attorney Alan Harris. “Securing equipment and encrypting data were not a priority for Sutter and now patients will have to worry about what medical or insurance information is out there for others to view. That Pat Fry, Sutter Health President and CEO, has acknowledged his responsibility to work harder to protect such information in the future, does not excuse the failure to safeguard the confidential information that has already been disclosed.”
For additional information, Patients impacted by this data breach may contact:
HARRIS & RUBLE
6424 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038