Nine Nationwide Class Action Suits Alleging Security Data Breach Have Been Consolidated in the Northern District of Alabama

Nine class actions, each alleging that private information maintained by Community Health Systems, Inc. and Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation (collectively, “CHS”) was not adequately protected, were consolidated on February 4, 2015 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre will preside over the litigation.

All of the parties requested that the cases be transferred to one court for coordinated proceedings. The Order for Transfer of the Multidistrict Litigation Panel states, “Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings on class certification and other issues, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.”

The suits share factual issues arising from the electronic theft of private information of approximately 4.5 million customers.
CHS owns and operates over 200 general acute care hospitals in 29 states. In the regular course of business, CHS collects and controls a wide variety of private, patient information, including but not limited to patient credit card, medical or clinical information and history, patient names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. CHS is entrusted to protect the privacy of each patient’s information.

The lawsuits claim that CHS failed to protect its patients’ private information, when, in the spring of 2014, its databases were hacked and private information, including patients’ names, addresses, passwords and Social Security Numbers were stolen. According to CHS, this theft involved at least 4.5 million patients.

Among the transferred class action cases: LUTZ v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., No. 2:14−06433, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, filed by Goldman Scarlato & Penny’s client.

Mr. Lutz was interviewed by CBS News, and he related what has transpired since the CHS data breach, and the theft of his identity.

The video can be seen by clicking on the following link:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/why-hackers-target-health-providers-like-anthem-insurance/

The remaining eight consolidated class action cases include: ALVERSON, ET AL. v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL., C.A. No. 2:14-01620, Northern District of Alabama; LAWSON, ET AL. v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-00712, Southern District of Mississippi; BRITO v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CORPORATION, ET AL., C.A. No. 1:14-00929, District of New Mexico; ROMAN v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-01705, Middle District of Pennsylvania; and, GLAH, ET AL. v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL., C.A. No. 2:14-25783, in the Southern District of West Virginia; VECIANA v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., No. 8:14-02893, Middle District of Florida, MAES, et al. v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CORPORATION, 1:14-01090, District of New Mexico, and MURPHY v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., et al., 3:15-00031, Middle District of Tennessee.

If you have experienced identity theft as a result of the failure to protect your private information, contact Mark Goldman at goldman@lawgsp.com to discuss your rights. (484) 342-0700.

Anthem Health announced last week that millions of its records, including names, addresses and Social Security numbers, were stolen in a data breach that is eerily similar to the breach that took place at CHS. It seems health care providers have become prime targets for computer and database hacking. For more information, see http://anthemdataclassaction.com/

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