Nov 262022
 
 November 26, 2022  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Healthcare, Online, U.S.

Eric Goldman writes:

The facts in this case are so bizarre and outrageous that I had to read them several times:

On September 30, 2018, Z.D. underwent an examination and medical testing in the emergency department of a Community facility in Indianapolis. Afterward, Community was unable to contact Z.D. via telephone to notify her of her test results. So on October 5, the emergency department’s patient resource coordinator wrote a letter to Z.D. that was printed on Community letterhead and included her diagnosis and suggested treatment. The letter was placed in an envelope bearing Community’s preprinted return address and the handwritten mailing address of Jonae Kendrick, who was a classmate of Z.D.’s high-school-aged daughter. Kendrick received the envelope in the mail, opened it, and posted the letter on Facebook, where it was seen by multiple third parties, including Z.D.’s daughter. Z.D. learned about her diagnosis from her daughter, and she paid Kendrick $100 in exchange for the letter, which was removed from Facebook…Z.D. stated that her daughter and Kendrick were “just facebook friends. I don’t think they ever hung out or anything.”

Read more at Technology & Marketing Law Blog.

After reading Eric’s post, I was left shaking my head at the hospital’s response. I absolutely believe Community Health Network should be on the hook for part of this, but some of the harm was almost certainly due to the recipient of the letter posting it on Facebook where others saw it and then acted upon that knowledge. Anyway, read the court’s opinion and then Eric’s commentary and see what you think.

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