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Law firms gear up for class-action against Montfort over personal data loss
From: Erica Absetz <eabsetz () opensecurityfoundation org>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 09:06:26 -0600


OTTAWA — Two heavyweight lawfirms out of Windsor and Toronto promise
to launch a class-action lawsuit as early as next week against
Montfort Hospital for its role in losing the personal information of
25,000 patients.

Representatives from Sutts, Strosberg LLP and Falconer Charney LLP
were to arrive in Ottawa on Thursday to meet with about 20 or more
clients who say they suffered damages from the privacy breech.

The 25,000 patients received apology letters in January, indicating
that an employee had broken hospital policy by taking files home on a
USB key which was then lost. The data included patient names, a
summary of the “service” they received, date of the service and the
doctor they visited, according to the letter.

Many of those clients came forward in recent weeks, encouraging the
legal team to move forward with a case as early as next week,
according to lawyer Sharon Strosberg.

“We understand there was some health information that was lost as
well,” she said. “We don’t know the extent of what was lost yet. The
story is still being written.”

Staff at Montfort said they were unaware of the pending lawsuit.
Patients who received letters had called the hospital to inquire about
specifics of the breech, but there has never been mention of a court
battle, according to Lucie Laurion, Montfort’s communications

“We haven’t received any formal notification. We don’t know anything
at this point,” she said.

Both Strosberg’s firm and Falconer Charney are involved in several
high-profile class-action cases, including a lawsuit against the
federal government over the loss of personal information of more than
half a million student loan recipients.

In the Montfort case, damages could cost the hospital anywhere from
$500 to several thousand dollars per person, according to Strosberg

“With the amounts we’re talking about, this is why people want to do a
class-action,” she said. “If you went out on your own, you wouldn’t
get a lawyer to take your case. It’s all about strength in numbers.”

Laurion said the USB key has never been found as far as the hospital
knows, which, if true, could save patients a lot of headaches by
preventing any identity theft or credit breeches.
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