18 Apr 2012

Law Firms Eye Windfall in Suits Over Health Data Breaches

Recent attacks on secure health data and the exposure of 31,800 medical records over the Internet has law firms eyeing the prospect of a windfall from lawsuits.

The State of California has a particular law that enables plaintiffs to be paid $1000 per violation in case of privacy data breach. If 31,800 people start filing lawsuits against St. Joseph Health System for the unwanted exposure of medical information, the company will have to cash out at least $31.8 million.

While the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act of 1981 is more than 30 years old, attorney Randy Sabett argues that because we’re living in the digital age "you could have a million records stolen in a couple of seconds," thus the need for new laws.

Although Brian Kabateck, an attorney with Kabateck Brown Kellner, agrees with his colleagues’ statement, he goes on saying for the The Recorder "I’m not pursuing cases where there isn’t negligence," he says, "but there is disregard for security protocols in many cases. If there is an intervening criminal act, that is a different story."