Plaintiff seeks class action status on behalf of “several millions” of victims.

On July 17, 2015, UCLA Health admitted it was the latest American healthcare system to be hit by a massive data breach, this one compromising the medical records of up to 4.5 million patients. Specifically, UCLA Health discovered the breach on May 5, and waited until July 17 to admit this to the public. It’s believed the hackers initially breached their security sometime in September 2014.

On Monday, a former patient filed an attempted class action suit in U.S. District Court against UCLA Health Systems Auxiliaries on the grounds that it broke its contractual obligations to protect patients’ data. The person filed in California’s Central District on behalf of “several millions of individuals,” and claimed that personal information entrusted to the hospital was “left in an unencrypted state and stolen by cyber thieves.”

Medical identity theft
Of all possible forms of identity theft or identity fraud, medical theft is arguably the worst and most permanently harmful from the victim’s perspective. Victims of credit card or similar forms of financial fraud are not expected to pay out of pocket to resolve the problem – but victims of medical identity theft often have to.

In February, when the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA) released its Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft, it said that there were more than two million victims of medical identity theft in the United States alone in 2014. Furthermore, according to MIFA, 65% of medical identity theft victims ultimately had to pay more than $13,000 out-of-pocket to resolve the problem.

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July 23, 2015 by Jennifer Abel, ConsumerAffairs

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