Mass torts used to protect medical privacy

Medical privacy is an essential protection in Tennessee and across the country. Confidentiality of personal information and medical history is strictly protected by federal law, and breaching that trust can bring negative consequences. When companies promoting health issues accept personal information from patients and fail to protect that information, it is not just one person who may suffer. In some cases, thousands of people may be affected, resulting in mass torts and claims for compensation for any violations.

One woman in another state has filed such a lawsuit, naming MDLive as the defendant. The electronic health database digitally connects patients with health care providers who answer medical questions, provide diagnoses and offer therapy online or through an app. The site requires patients to input health history, family history and other information one would only share with a trusted physician so that on-call doctors can offer advice.

What patients do not realize is that while they are providing extremely sensitive information, MDLive is taking a screenshot of that information and sending it to a tech company located in Israel. The tech company then uses the patients' private information for analytics and app development. Patients are never told that their information will be divulged in this manner.

In situations like this, when it is likely that thousands of people used the MDLive program or downloaded this app, filing individual lawsuits may be expensive and result in small awards for each plaintiff. By filing class action claims for mass torts, many plaintiffs can present their cases at once, which often maximizes the compensation in successful cases. People in Tennessee who feel they may be one of many who suffered similar damages in a particular circumstance may find answers and guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.

Source: medcitynews.com, "MDLive hit with class-action lawsuit over patient privacy issues", Erin Dietsche, April 21, 2017

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