Class action lawsuit filed against MU Health Care after information hacked

5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, August 08 2019 Aug 8, 2019 Thursday, August 08, 2019 2:21:00 PM CDT August 08, 2019 in News
By: Amber Raub, KOMU Reporter
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COLUMBIA – A lawsuit was filed Tuesday against MU Health Care. It released a statement Friday that said a data security incident involving patient information occurred earlier this year.

14,400 MU patients were potentially affected. The information includes but isn't limited to: names, date of births, medical records numbers, health insurance information and even Social Security numbers.

There are two law firms working on the case: Lear Werts LLP and A.W. Smith Law Firm.

Penny Houston is the plaintiff behind the lawsuit.

One of Houston’s attorneys, Todd Werts (Lear Werts LLP), said after information about the data breach was released he’s had a group of people talk to him.

Essentially she wants to get two things. One is to ensure that such things don’t occur again in the future. And number two is to make sure that you fully understand exactly the nature of the breach,” Werts said.

The lawsuit seeks damages from MU Health Care due to their failure to keep sensitive information safe. The suit also said MU Health Care needs to strengthen its data security system.

Jesslyn Chew, a spokesperson for MU Health Care, told KOMU there is no indication any patient data was viewed by unauthorized individuals or that it's been used.

Chew said two staff email accounts were hacked which led to the breach in information.

MU Health Care completed identifying patients affected by the incident on July 27. MU Health Care launched an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident after learning about it May 1.

Chew said MU Health Care is in the process of sending out letters to people whose information was accessed. She said if you believe your information was attained, you are encouraged to call their temporary call center. The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m through 5:30 p.m. Patients can also call 1(833) 762-0222.

Houston’s team is waiting on the university to respond to the suit, which could take up to a month.

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