Rivas Goldstein, LLP Call : 646-859-3790

Which court is the right venue for health care disputes?

The answer depends on the details of the allegations. In a recent case, a group of patients filed a class action lawsuit against a New York health system accusing the group of failing to protect their financial, medical and personal information from security leaks. The failure, they allege, resulted in a cyber attack that put the privacy of information like social security numbers in jeopardy.

Where to file the claim?

The patients filed the claim in a state court, but the hospital system moved to have the claim removed to a federal court instead. The hospital system stated a federal court provided the right venue, as the issue touched on two federal laws: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA). It then moved to dismiss the claim.

Were they right?

Ultimately, the federal court stated that although claims involving these laws would move forward in the federal court system, only the United States Health and Human Services Department (HHS) can enforce HIPAA violations and the Federal Trade Commission enforces FTCA actions. The federal system was not the proper venue because these federal agencies were not currently involved. As a result, the federal court sent the case back to state court to review whether the court should dismiss the remaining claims.

What comes next?

The patients are moving forward with claims the hospital system violated state laws including negligent hiring and training of employees, breach of fiduciary duty and a delay in notifying the patients of the data breach. Although the hospital system lost its fight to change the venue of the dispute to federal courts, it could still win its motion to dismiss the claims. If successful, the lawsuit would likely end. If not, the hospital system would need to review the allegations and tailor a defense to counter the claims.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Schedule A Consultation With An Attorney

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Austin Office
3345 Bee Cave Rd, Suite 104
Austin, TX 78746

Phone: 512-481-2916
Map & Directions

New York Office
By Appointment Only
405 Lexington Ave 26th Floor
New York, NY 10174

Phone: 646-859-3790
Map & Directions

New Jersey Office
By Appointment Only
1 Gateway Center, Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: 646-859-3790
Map & Directions

Review Us