Lydia Nuzum reports that a potential class-action lawsuit against Charleston Area Medical Center over an exposure breach disclosed in 2011 will be allowed to go forward after the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned a ruling by the Kanawha Circuit Court denying the petitioners standing on the basis of potential for future harm.
The Supreme Court sided with Stucky in that the risk of future identity theft does not constitute injury, but ruled that doctor-patient confidentiality had been violated by the leak. Justices found that the CAMC patients had a legal right for their medical information to be kept confidential.
The Supreme Court also found that the circuit court had erred in its determination that the petitioners did not share enough commonality, typicality and predominance of common issues of law or fact to be certified as a class-action suit.
In the unsigned ruling, justices emphasized that they were not considering the merits of the CAMC patients’ case against the hospital, only whether they should be allowed to continue with their lawsuit.
Justice Menis Ketchum dissented, calling the case “a typical example of a frivolous class-action lawsuit.”
Read more on the Charleston Gazette.