VT: Woman gets probation for looking at another’s medical records

I had missed this case every time it appeared in the media, it seems, but the Times Argus reported on November 10 that a former employee at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center was sentenced for snooping into the records of her husband’s ex-wife on numerous occasions:

After an emotional hearing, a judge sentenced a woman who pleaded guilty to four counts of looking at the medical records of her husband’s ex-wife to probation and 160 hours of community service, which will include talking to medical employees about the importance of privacy regarding patient records.

Kathy Tatro, 54, of Bennington, was also sentenced in Bennington criminal court on Friday to a six- to 12-month suspended jail term, two years on probation and a $2,000 fine and Judge Cortland Corsones ordered Tatro to write a letter of apology to Catherine Taylor.

Tatro was arraigned in February 2011 on a felony charge of identity theft and 10 misdemeanor charges of unauthorized access to computer records. She entered a plea agreement on Sept. 26 which called for the state to dismiss the felony and six of the misdemeanor charges in return for Tatro’s guilty plea on the other four charges.

The case was unusual because of the connections between the two women. Tatro and her husband, Keith Tatro, have been partially responsible for raising the three sons of Keith Tatro and Catherine Taylor.

Prosecutor Alexander Burke, a deputy state’s attorney in Bennington County, and Taylor raised the accusation that Tatro had looked at the records of Taylor and her three children 200 times over a period of 12 years but Tatro and her attorney, Jake Cormier, said some of those instances involved a stepmother looking at her stepsons’ records.

Addressing the court, Tatro said it was “morbid curiosity that caused her to look at Taylor’s records.”

Catherine Taylor was a registered nurse working at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, when she found out Tatro, who also worked at the hospital as an ultrasound echo technician, had used her position to access Tayor’s medical records.


Who discovered this breach and how? None of the media reports I’ve seen report how the breach was discovered, and it  appears that the ex-wife discovered the snooping as opposed to the medical center discovering it through their own internal controls. Perhaps one of the mainstream journalists covering the case could ask the medical center why the snooping wasn’t detected.

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