Robert Storace reports:
A Bridgeport Superior Court jury has awarded $853,000 to a former Connecticut resident whose medical records were released to her former boyfriend without her knowledge.
At an earlier stage, the Connecticut Supreme Court used this case to state in a matter of first impression that a violation of medical privacy under a federal statute could lead to tort liability under Connecticut law.
A lawsuit alleges the Westport, Connecticut-based Avery Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology complied with a subpoena by Andro Mendoza’s attorneys to release all of Emily Byrne’s medical records.
The medical records were seen by Mendoza, who was the father of Byrne’s daughter. Byrne broke off the relationship with Mendoza about the time she found out she was pregnant and, the lawsuit claims, Mendoza then used that information in a custody fight for the baby to harass and try to extort money from Byrne.
Read more on Law.com. This seems to be one of those cases where the plaintiff really can both allege and demonstrate harm from a breach.
And I suspect that the plaintiff’s counsel may have been correct in thinking that medical practice may not have known what to do when they received a subpoena. They might have believed that they just had to comply with it, not realizing that a subpoena is different than a court order. This case started years ago.