Huge Healthcare Data Breach Leads to Class Action Lawsuit for Anthem
After a massive data breach at Anthem Inc leaked healthcare and personal identity information at the beginning of February, a group of victims filed a class action lawsuit in San Diego against the health insurance company.
The class action lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, February 10th, and alleges negligence, invasion of privacy, and breach of contract. Anthem faces other lawsuits related to the data breach as well, but this is the first potentially large and national suit, which could cover the approximately 80 million Americans affected by the hack.
“The lawsuit is to send a message to companies that this is a very serious issue and they need to take every step possible to protect this highly critical information,” a plaintiff’s attorney said.
Scripps National Correspondent Tom Hargrove said, “If you’ve gone to a doctor, your records are now electronic and therefore available to cyber thieves.
“They [the FBI] said because the medical industry’s security measures lag far behind that of the financial and retail sectors, that the possibility of cyber intrusions are likely,” he added.
The FBI will continue to investigate the data breach at Anthem, which is the country’s second largest insurance company. Anthem said in a statement earlier that credit card information and medical information were mostly safe, but personal information like names, birth dates, e-mail addresses, employment details, Social Security numbers, incomes, and street addresses, were compromised.
‘‘If someone steals your credit card and home address, they might be able to buy something, but you can usually get that locked down quickly,’’ said Tony Anscombe, a security expert at AVG Technologies. ‘‘With medical records and a Social Security number, it’s not so simple.’’
“The lawsuit alleges that Anthem failed to safeguard the personal information of current and former clients allowing computer hackers access to information such as birthdates, social security numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, employee information, and income information,” the class action complaint said.
What Type of Case Is Appropriate for a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action is a procedural device to collect individuals’ claims that are suffering harm. When a case is awarded class action status, it means that an individual or small group of plaintiffs will act as representatives for others who have suffered injuries similar to theirs because of actions by the same defendant.
Class Action cases we have handled include:
- a case against the managed care industry on behalf of physicians for systematically undercutting physician claims for payment for seeing patients;
- race-based life insurance cases against life insurance companies for charging African Americans higher rates for industrial life insurance;
- consumer cases included suing finance companies for adding credit life insurance on to consumer loans;
- numerous personal injuries due to one defective product;
- a predatory lending case against the title loan industry;
- a predatory lending case against the mortgage industry for systematically steering clients into subprime lending
The Strom Law Firm Can Help Evaluate Your Class Action Litigation
The Class Action attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC understand the complexities surrounding class action lawsuits. Class actions and consumer protection cases can stem from an almost unlimited variety of misconduct or defective products. Contact our law firm today for a free review of the facts of your case.