Will a Pending OCR Rule Impact Breach Class-Action Suits?

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

A pending federal regulation – called for under the HITECH Act – that would allow regulators to share with breach victims money collected in HIPAA violation cases eventually could have implications in class-action breach lawsuits, says privacy attorney Adam Greene.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights “is working on a new regulation where they would share a portion of penalties and settlements with ‘harmed’ individuals – and they’re still trying to figure out what a ‘harmed’ individual is,” Greene says. “It will be interesting to see, when that regulation gets proposed and ultimately finalized, if that has an impact on class-action [breach lawsuits].”

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