Clifford Law Offices, a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, filed Thursday (Sept. 5, 2013) a class action lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of millions of patients whose privacy and medical information were compromised by the alleged theft of four computers at an administrative office in July.
The Chicago law firm brought the action on behalf of a mother and her daughter of suburban Northbrook who were patients of Advocate and whose personal information was maintained at Advocate Medical Group offices in Park Ridge.Â The lawsuit alleges that the Downers Grove-based health care group was negligent in protecting private data and failed to use encryption and other basic security measures on behalf of its patients.
Patients were informed by letter just days ago that their privacy was compromised when four computers containing up to four million patientsâ€™ information, including names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, were allegedly stolen from administrative offices on Touhy Avenue in the northwest suburb.Â Although full medical records were not on the computers, medical diagnoses, service codes and health insurance information were kept on these computers.
â€œIn this age of advanced technology, Advocate had to realize that its unorthodox methodology for maintaining important and private data posed a risk to the safety and security of their patients,â€ said Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices.Â â€œEqually disturbing is the fact that an organization like Advocate would have the private and confidential information of some four million patients stored in an unencrypted environment and saved to the computersâ€™ hard drives.Â There is just no excuse for this negligence, and the harm that this has caused so many, many people is something that could have been avoided had proper precautions been taken.â€
The class action was brought on behalf of Pierre Petrich and her daughter, Amara, who are unavailable for comment on this matter as they do not wish to further compromise their private and confidential health information by disclosing any further details of their care and treatment at Advocate.
Shannon McNulty, partner at Clifford Law Offices and attorney on the case, can be reached for comment at 312-899-9090.
To view a copy of the stamped complaint, please visit www.CliffordLaw.com
For further information, please call Clifford Law Officesâ€™ Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-251-4877 or 847-721-0909.