Tenet Healthcare and Baptist Health have received a class action lawsuit as a result of a major data breach affecting approximately 1.2 million individuals. On April 20. 2022, the comprehensive investigation was conducted confirming that an unauthorized malicious actor had gained access to the IT systems of Resolute Health Hospital and Baptist Medical Center between March 31st and April 24th 2022. The unauthorized third party had recovered files containing sensitive patient health information. The information accessed contained various individually identifiable information such as names, date of births, address, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, and medical information among others.
The multinational healthcare services company published a public notification about the attack on April 26th, 2022. Potential affected individuals were later notified of the breach in mid-June. The breach notification outlined how the breach occurred, the steps Tenet Healthcare took to mitigate harm, and how affected individuals can reduce potential harm. In addition, Tenet Healthcare offered credit monitoring and identity theft protection services free of charge.
The lawsuit was filed in Dallas County on July 5th and is seeking more than $1 million in damages. Lead plaintiff, Troy Contreras, alleges that the defendants were negligent in implementing the appropriate safeguards for the protection of patient privacy. These safeguards include multi-layered security and security awareness education. Specifically, Contreras argues that the company did not act in compliance with the Federal Trade Commision guidelines. Despite no accusation of misuse of the plaintiff’s data, $1million has been requested in damages as the plaintiff claims to have spent a significant amount of time ensuring the security of his personal health information.For a data breach victim to win a class action lawsuit of this nature, they must demonstrate injury and prove that the defendant’s actions caused harm.
Despite fully recovering from the cyberattack, Tenet Healthcare has reported a significant financial toll in their Q2 earning report. The report shows a net loss of approximately $100 million dollars. Although the losses may be large, cost of recovery is estimated as approximately $112.7 million, comparable to other cyberattacks suffered by large healthcare organizations.