Spears Legal Technology


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WV Supreme Court: Health Data Breach Victims Have Standing to Sue

If other states adopt this ruling it would represent a fundamental shift in the rights of patients who suffered a loss of personal data. It would also factor into the risk analysis for covered entities and their business associates.

The most frequently relied upon defense against suits for damages for a release of personal information is that the plaintiff or class of plaintiffs lack standing because the harm they suffered as a result of the breach is conjectural or speculative.

The Court’s
opinion held that representatives of the class of medical clinic patients whose names, contact details, social security numbers and medical information had been accidentally posted to a publicly accessible web site had standing to sue the clinic notwithstanding that no class representative had established that anyone had actually accessed the mistakenly released information and no one had suffered any quantifiable economic loss as a result.


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