West Virginia Record

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Woman sues Marshall Health for data breach

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 23, 2015


HUNTINGTON – A woman is suing Marshall Health after she claims an unauthorized employee accessed her daughter's medical record multiple times.

Kristi Dunlap, an employee of Marshall Health, and Michael J. McCarthy, the chief information officer of Marshall Health, also were named in Felesha Dickess' complaint.

In January 2013, Kyndrix L. Blake began receiving health and medical care from Marshall Health and on June 21, 2013, Dunlap, who was in a relationship with Blake's father, improperly accessed Blake's confidential and private information through Marshall Health's computer system, according to a complaint filed March 16 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Dunlap continued to access Blake's private and confidential medical information on numerous and repeated occasions in the course and scope of her employment over the next year and three months until Sept. 29.

On Sept. 12, Dickess sent Marshall Health an e-mail explaining that she would like to speak with someone regarding her daughter's medical record because information had been changed and she was worried Dunlap was accessing her daughter's records, according to the suit.

Dickess claims she spoke with McCarthy regarding the data breach and was assured McCarthy would address the breach of privacy immediately.

At no time between June 21, 2013, and Sept. 12, did Marshall Health attempt to learn or otherwise notify Dickess that at least one of its employees had been repeatedly accessing Blake's private and confidential medical information for more than one year during her employment, according to the suit.

Dickess claims it was only after she contacted Marshall Health that they were able to determine that someone was accessing the medical information.

On Oct. 27, Marshall Health finally responded by letter to Dickess and confirmed the unauthorized access to her child's health information, according to the suit.

Dickess claims the defendants owed a duty to protect the private patient information and failed to do so.

Dickess is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Hoyt Glazer, Ben Sheridan and Mitchell L. Klein of Klein, Sheridan & Glazer LC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 15-C-184

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