Health Information Management

Appeals court upholds $1.4 million verdict against Walgreens

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 24, 2014

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The Indiana Court of Appeals recently upheld a $1.4 million verdict against Walgreens following a HIPAA violation, according to Walgreens had requested that the appeals court overturn a July 2013 verdict that awarded damages to pharmacy customer Abigail Hinchy after a pharmacist inappropriately accessed her records.
Hinchy filed a lawsuit in Marion Superior Court after learning that pharmacist Audra Withers accessed her prescription information without authorization. Withers shared the confidential information with her husband, who is Hinchy’s ex-boyfriend and the father of her child. Withers’ husband shared Hinchy’s private information with at least three other people and planned to use it in a paternity lawsuit, according to
Walgreens argued that it should not be liable for Withers’ actions. However, the court of appeals unanimously decided that Withers violated her duties by viewing and sharing information found in Hinchy’s records and that the trial court ruling allowed jurors to consider Walgreens’ liability, according to
This article originally appeared on HCPro’s HIPAA Update blog. Stay up to date on all things HIPAA by signing up for e-mail updates from this blog.

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