North Shore University Hospital Sued Over Security Breach

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Twelve people recently filed a lawsuit against New York's North Shore University Hospital in response to the theft of hospital face sheets containing their personal information (including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birthdates, medical histories and other data).

"Unlike many of these types of cases, some [of] the plaintiffs have already had their identities stolen and will be looking for compensatory and punitive damages beyond future identity and credit monitoring," writes HealthITSecurity's Patrick Ouellette. "The suit argues that the hospital was negligent, misrepresentative, breached its fiduciary duty, breached its contract and violated HIPAA."

"One victim received a letter saying a fraudulent tax return was filed with her Social Security number on it, the suit said," CBS New York reports. "Others saw hundreds or even thousands of dollars charged to fraudulent credit cards and cell phone accounts opened up in their names. Last year, two suspects -- Clincy M. Robinson and Dennis Messias -- were arrested and charged separately with identity theft in connection with the hospital face sheet thefts, the lawsuit said."

"[Robinson] was convicted in December of identity theft and sentenced to 6 months time served and 5 years' probation after he was found with printouts containing North Shore-LIJ patient information," writes Newsday's Ridgely Ochs.