In a surprised decision from a federal judge, it approved a class action status from a civil case due to stealing personal information. The judge believed that the Flowers Hospital is responsible for this matter, which problem manifested at least four years ago.
The lawsuit they filed against the Flowers Hospital in Dothan , Alabama might favor the complainants after a federal judge here approved the class action status. On this, those who complained about their stolen personal information may now push their claims against the mother company of the hospital, according from the reported news online.
They must however submit their claims as one group as instructed by the decision.
Flowers Hospital started to deal with this legal case back in 2014 when it hired Kamarian Millender and this man acquired non-hospital records from the patients at the hospital. Afterwards, it utilized the records in filing almost 124 federal tax returns back in 2012 and 2013, which they proved as fraud transactions.
The hospital hired Millender as a phlebotomist whom arrested him in 2014 and recovered at least 54 personal records from the patients. He pleaded guilty in admitting his unlawful action in victimizing many innocent people.
From the records of the court, Flowers Hospital made an effort to investigate immediately and found out that there are missing folders on the files, which contain 100-150 records of their patients. Moreover, the court revealed that Millender also took other personal information, which involved some federal agencies and the IRS.
The hospital made an effort to inform more than 1,200 non-hospital patients regarding their stolen personal data from April 8 until August 29, 2014, the report added. They are also taking the necessary actions to make sure no other people will come out to file a complaint against them.
The five complainants filed the legal case in 2014 (May) against Triad of Alabama, which is the mother company of the hospital. The compliant include privacy invasion, negligence, violating the law of Fair Credit Reporting Act and breach of contract. However, the court dismissed the complaint for invasion of privacy, yet the remaining complaints got the approval for class action status.
To date, they are still arguing on how many victims do the hospital needs to verify.
In line with this, Chief United States District Judge W. Keith Watkins provided his opinion in a written statement. “To be clear, the named plaintiffs have not shown exactly how many putative class members were affected by the data breach. But, they have proved that the class will most likely number in the hundreds,” he stated.
Adding that, “Demonstrating all the restraint of a child left unattended in a candy shop, Millender made off with a bundle of folders. (He) dug through the personal information in the patient records, with the help of an accomplice, filed at least 124 fraudulent income tax returns.”
In case the decision upheld, this pushes the lawsuit to its discovery stage, as detailed by Adam Jones who is a Dothan lawyer. Jones believes that the federal judge decision is favorable for the plaintiffs and will soon get the best results to resolve the case fairly.
Meanwhile, the representative of the hospital has not yet provided any comment and still reviewing the decision before making any action.