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    Indiana Business Journal: $1.4M judgment against Walgreen sets health privacy precedent

    The Indiana Business Journal reports on a privacy case (Hinchy v. Walgreen Co., et al.) concerning a Walgreens pharmacy and a customer’s private medical information. (We’ve discussed misuse or abuse of access privileges by insiders before.) IBJ reports:

    A Marion County jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the Indianapolis lawyer who argued the case.

    “This is the first published court decision in the nation in which a health care provider has been held liable for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations committed by its employees,” plaintiffs attorney Neal Eggeson said of the decision.

    According to court records, Abigail Hinchy’s prescription history was provided to her ex-boyfriend Davion Peterson, who had become involved in a relationship with Walgreen pharmacist Audra Winters. Winters denied disclosing Hinchy’s records to anyone but admitted she had accessed Hinchy’s records. […]

    In a 23-page opinion, Judge John Baker wrote for the panel that Withers “breached one of her most sacred duties by viewing the prescription records of a customer and divulging the information she learned from those records to the client’s ex-boyfriend. … We are loath to disturb jury verdicts and decline to do so in this case.”

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