A class action data breach court case filed against Flowers Hospital in Dothan, AL, in 2014 has ultimately been resolved.
In 2014, a worker of Flowers Hospital stole the private information of patients from the hospital laboratory and utilized the information to file fake tax returns in the names of patients.
A deputy sheriff found patient files in the automobile of laboratory worker, Karmarian Millender, during a traffic stop. The inquiry disclosed that Millender had been stealing patient records from the laboratory and had sold the information to tax impostors who filed fake tax returns in patients’ names. Millender pleaded guilty to the theft of patient data and was sentenced to two years in jail.
A lot of patients incurred out-of-pocket expenditures from paying for credit checking facilities, lost earnings from arranging those facilities and combatting identity theft and lost interest from late tax repayments. A class action court case was filed against the hospital to recover those expenses.
The court case alleged the hospital had been careless by failing to apply sufficient measures to avoid data theft. Flowers Hospital tried to have the court case dismissed for lack of standing and asserted that the accusers failed to connect the data breach to financial harm. A judge let the accusers change the grievance and the motion to reject was not carried over to the updated filing.
It has taken almost five years, but the court case has finally been dismissed and Flowers Hospital has agreed to a payment of up to $150,000. That conclusion was recently accepted by a judge. Up to 1,208 patients possibly had their protected health information stolen and those who filed entitlements will be granted a part of the settlement amount.
The highest claim per patient is $5,000, which includes loss of interest on late tax returns, the expense of credit checking facilities, and compensation from loss of earnings arranging those facilities; up to a maximum of 4 hours. The bulk of breach sufferers are expected to be granted up to $250 in compensations.