NY: Suits continue following Samaritan Hospital breach

Bob Gardinier reports an update to a breach of Samaritan Hospital patient records that began in 2008, was first discovered in November 2011, and was not disclosed until March 2013. Lawsuits by those whose information was improperly viewed using a connection from the county jail nurse’s office to the hospital filed suit in September 2013.

Rensselaer County has paid $25,000 in a court award and set aside $90,000 for expected legal fees in a flurry of lawsuits brought by jail officers and others whose medical information was viewed for years by employees using a computer in the jail nurses’ office.

Seven parties, including four current or former correction officers, a jail employee, the family of a correction officer on behalf of a minor child, and a private individual have sued the county.

More suits are anticipated, officials have said.

Two cases have been settled.

Read more on TimesUnion.com. The county does not seem to be anticipating any really large settlements, although some of the complaints allege more than just snooping and that the snoopers misused patient information in various ways.

Note that this breach never appeared on HHS’s public breach tool as it affected less than 500 patients. I’d be curious to know what HHS did or required Samaritan Hospital to do.


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