Follows similar cases against Eastern, Western health authorities
Bob Buckingham — Telegram file photo
Shawna Marie Anne Thompson is named as the plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed against the Central Regional Health Authority for breaches of patient medical records and personal health information.
Thompson is a former resident of central Newfoundland who now lives in St. John’s. A statement of claim notes that Thompson proposes to bring a class-proceeding on behalf of herself and a class of other Canadian residents whose medical records were inappropriately accessed by the health authority’s employees.
The class-action follows a similar ones filed recently against Eastern Health and Western Health.
The class-action lawsuit claims negligence by the health authority for not having proper management and operations procedures in place to reasonably prevent the breach of private information.
Members of the class-action claim that the conduct of the defendant’s employees involved constitute a gross violation of the privacy rights of patients and thus is an appropriate case for punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages.
St. John’s lawyer Bob Buckingham, who is representing Thompson in the case, said Thompson received information last November which led her to believe her personal health information was breached.
"Ms. Thompson launched a complaint through the Information and Privacy Commissioner. The complaint inquiry confirmed the violation,” Buckingham said in a news release.
“Ms. Thompson was informed that her personal health information had been inappropriately accessed by an employee of Central Health and her medical records had been extensively accessed over a period of seven years."
Thompson said the situation has caused her anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
"I feel violated, angry and very upset knowing my personal medical information has been breached and, furthermore, shared with non-essential personnel,” Thomson is quoted in the release.
“This is further disturbing given that the breaches, on occasion, were done for personal reasons of the staff person.
"Knowing there are people out there who know of my medical and personal information worries me very much. I wonder how much of it was shared and with whom? I am to the point I will not go to the doctor unless I am very ill because I am fearful anything I give to a health-care provider will be reported to someone who does not need to know my information."