Swigart Law Group Files Suit Against Golden Valley Health Centers

By: Joshua B. Swigart

As the digital era drives forward, more and more third party companies are holding personal information for businesses. As such, the number of data breaches is on the rise. What’s more concerning, however, is the fact that data breaches affecting hospitals and health care facilities are on the rise. The Swigart Law Group has filed a class action lawsuit against Golden Valley Health Centers, a domestic nonprofit healthcare provider that serves individuals in the California Central Valley, for compromising and disseminating patents’ personal medication information and data. 

Under the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA), individuals have the right to keep their personal medical information confidential. The law states a provider of health care, health care service plan, or contractor will not disclose medical information regarding a patient of the health care provider or an enrollee or subscriber of a health care service plan without first obtaining an authorization.

On or around March 3, 2020, Golden Valley Health Centers discovered that approximately 39,700 patients’ personal information that was stored in an email account had been compromised by an unknown and unauthorized third party. The data included identities, personal data, and medical information.

Golden Valley Health Centers sent a letter notifying patients of the data breach around March 20, 2020. The letter, which was signed GVHC Chief Information Officer Wunna Mine, stated that their records were comprised when a third party accessed patients’ personal information. Golden Valley Health Centers requires patients to provide detailed information about their health care, as well as access to their medical records.

Golden Valley Health Centers negligently created, maintained, preserved, and stored individuals’ confidential medical information without their prior written authorization. This constitutes an unauthorized release of their confidential medical information in violation of CMIA. Under the law, an individual may bring an action against any person or entity that has negligently released confidential information or records concerning him or her in violation of this part.

The individuals in this lawsuit seek nominal damages from Golden Valley Health Centers in the amount of $1,000 for each violation under CMIA. Additionally, the plaintiffs, individually an on behalf of all others similarly situated, seek injunctive relief.

Patients should remember that their personal information is protected under CMIA. If you feel you’ve been the victim of Golden Valley Health Centers, contact Swigart Law Group.  If you believe your personal medical information was released without your consent, please contact our office so we may assist you in the investigative process.  We are here to help.

Swigart Law Group helps people who have been injured by banks, employers, drug and medical companies, or large corporations, and creates a meaningful and profound impact on the lives of people in the community. Our attorneys are experienced in the areas of consumer protection, privacy and data breaches. Unlike large law corporations, we hand-pick every case we take and we give each of our clients undivided personal attention.