Trial underway

Former nurse accused of accessing records

Rosie Mullaley
Published on September 17, 2013
Colleen M. Weeks was in provincial court in St. John’s Monday for the start of her trial. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

The trial of a former nurse charged with inappropriately accessing patients’ health records got underway Monday.

However, as proceedings began at provincial court in St. John’s in the case of Colleen M. Weeks, a separate hearing was called by the lawyers and judge to discuss certain evidence.

Testimony from those discussions are banned from publication. It’s not known how long the hearing will last.

Weeks has pleaded not guilty to a charge of wilfully obtaining or attempting to obtain another individual's personal health information by falsely representing that she was entitled to the information, thus breaching the Personal Health Information Act.

The 39-year-old was said to have accessed the information between July 10, 2010, and July 12, 2012.

She has since been dismissed from her job at Eastern Health.

Provincial information and privacy commissioner Ed Ring announced details of the reported breaches in April.

He has said the investigation that led to the charges marked the first time the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has used Section 88 (1)(a) of the act to lay charges against an individual. After health authorities contacted patients whose records were accessed, some chose to file complaints with Ring's office.

Ring was in court to take in proceedings in Weeks’ trial.

Weeks is represented by lawyer Randy Piercey. Vikas Khaladkar is handling the prosecution for the Crown.

Judge Greg Brown is on the bench.

Twitter: @TelyCourt