CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman is suing Charleston Area Medical Center after she claims someone accessed her personal medical records and shared the information with others.
Associated Radiologists Inc. was also named as a defendant in the suit.
Charleston Area Medical Center is doing business as CAMC Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
In 2015, Tia Marie Kagee discovered she was pregnant and, unfortunately, at that time, she was struggling with opiate addiction and she kept the secret from her boyfriend, family and friends, according to a complaint filed Feb. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Kagee claims knowing her addiction could result in serious health consequences for her unborn child and she informed her boyfriend about her addiction and pregnancy and began seeking treatment.
In February 2016, Kagee enrolled in an outpatient treatment clinic at CAMC Women’s and Children’s Hospital specializing in helping pregnant mothers who are struggling with addiction to conquer their dependency and ensure that their children are born drug free, according to the suit.
Kagee claims she was on the road to recovery and confident that she was making the right choice for the health and well-being of herself and her unborn child.
The plaintiff continued to keep her pregnancy and the fact that she was in the program a secret from the rest of her family because she did not want to suffer the embarrassment from the information becoming public and did not want people judging her for her previous poor choices, according to the suit.
Kagee claims she fully participated in the clinic at CAMC Women’s and Children’s in addiction to keeping all of her regular obstetrician/pediatrician appointments.
On Feb. 23, 2016, at approximately 8:15 a.m., Kagee reported to the hospital for an appointment and, between 8:26 a.m. and 8:52 a.m., Casandra Taylor, an employee of Associated Radiologist, viewed ten electronic medical records containing Kagee’s confidential medical information using the CAMC EMR system, according to the suit.
Kagee claims later that afternoon, between 3:14 p.m. and 4:05 p.m., Taylor viewed another 11 electronic medical records containing her confidential medical information using the system.
Upon information and belief, Taylor took numerous pictures of Kagee’s medical records and spread them via text message to numerous other individuals, according to the suit.
Kagee claims in the evening of Feb. 23, 2016, she received the first harassing text message revealing that her confidential medical information had been accessed when Michael Boggs, a mutual acquaintance told her that he knew her secret and that he had proof.
The plaintiff, wanting to maintain her privacy, feigned ignorance and Boggs then sent her a picture of her medical record and revealed that he knew her due date and that she had been dependant on drugs, according to the suit.
Kagee claims Boggs’ text messages continued and were increasingly abusive and he repeatedly threatened to tell her family about “her secret.”
The plaintiff also began receiving texts messages and phone calls from others asking about her pregnancy, her health and the health of her unborn child, according to the suit. Kagee even received text messages from various other people with pictures of her confidential medical records.
Kagee claims the resulting stress and anxiety affected her physically and she was warned by her doctor to be careful because stress could negatively affect the health of her baby.
After Kagee’s son was born on March 10, she was still fearful that someone would show up at the hospital and when her son needed to stay at the hospital a few extra days, she even snuck in at night to visit him, for fear of being followed or harassed, according to the suit.
Kagee claims Taylor continued to access her medical records even after her child was born.
The damaging effects on having her privacy violated continued to affect Kagee and every time she leaves the house, she worries about her and her baby being followed or harassed, according to the suit.
Kagee claims CAMC and AGI were negligent and breached their duty of care to her.
The defendants also breached their fiduciary duty and invaded Kagee’s privacy, according to the suit.
Kagee is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Russell A. Williams and Joseph H. Spano Jr. of Pritt Spano & Williams.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge James Stucky.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 17-C-279