On Wednesday, Julie Mack, Joanne Mullins, and Ingrid Cox filed a complaint in the Western District of Washington against MCG Health, LLC for a 2020 data breach that compromised the sensitive personal information of millions of healthcare patients worldwide. This lawsuit is yet another in a string of complaints filed against MCG for the mishandling of their data.
The complaint alleged that MCG Health suffered a data breach in February 2020, that resulted in the data of more than 1,100,000 patients being compromised, yet failed to become aware of the breach until March 2022. Even so, they did not inform the victims of the hack of what happened until June 2022, when their data had been compromised and circulated on the dark web for more than two years.
In this notice to their customers, MCG allegedly failed to provide basic details of the hack and how it occurred, and “offered only two years of identity monitoring to Plaintiffs and Class members, which required the disclosure of additional [private information] that MCG Health had just demonstrated it could not be trusted with.” The plaintiffs claimed that MCG was warned to “implement data security measures to prevent this attack” but failed to do so which “recklessly” put their customers at risk of a hack like this one.
According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), MCG had “obligations” to keep their customers’ data confidential and secured, yet failed to do so even though they had been “on notice for years that the healthcare industry is a prime target for scammers.” The plaintiffs claimed that they suffered damages because of this, quoting 2014 studies that estimated data breaches cost victims $1,349 for their time and identity protection services. Moreover, their health data is prone to being manipulated which could lead to serious medical incidents within the next few months or years.
The plaintiffs are seeking class certification, equitable relief enjoining Defendant from engaging in the wrongful conduct described, restitution and disgorgement, actual damages, compensatory damages, statutory damages, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.