Virginia federal court holds that online posting of patient medical information constitutes “publication” sufficient to trigger a general liability insurer’s duty to defend

Hunton & Williams write:

On August 7, 2014, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held in Travelers Indemnity Company of America v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, LLC, No. 1:13-cv-917 (E.D. Va. Aug. 7, 2014), that online posting of patient medical information constituted “publication,” whether or not it was viewed by a third party, and therefore triggered the insurer’s duty to defend its insured against a class action seeking damages for breach of privacy claims.

Read more on Lexology.

But do note that Law360 reports:

Insurers are rushing to tack on recently released data breach exclusions to commercial general liability policies, hoping to substantially narrow their exposure to privacy risks. Here, experts provide policyholders the essentials on these game-changing provisions.

The Insurance Services Office Inc., which develops standard insurance contract language, in May unveiled an exclusion that is aimed at wiping out coverage for personal and advertising injuries stemming from the disclosure of personal information. The exclusion applies to a variety of damages, including notification costs, credit monitoring expenses and public…

Law360’s full story is behind a paywall.

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