A recent class-action is seeking damages for the unauthorized disclosure of personal health information (“PHI”) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”). The plaintiffs claim that the defendant hospital allowed the unauthorized access of confidential records of the putative class members, including PHI, held by a third-party records vendor without their knowledge or consent and without sufficient security. Among other claims, the plaintiffs allege that the hospital violated the FCRA by failing to implement adequate safeguards to protect their personally identifiable information and PHI from a data breach suffered by the third-party vendors. The plaintiffs argue that the hospital was a CRA that created “consumer reports” containing sensitive information including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, billing information and confidential health records, and disseminated this information to medical service providers affiliated with the defendant, and that the defendant allowed employees of the vendor and others to gain unrestricted access to their personally identifiable information and PHI, which was allegedly misused and intentionally disclosed to third-parties for profit.
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