A judge has approved a $988,550 settlement in a cla*s action lawsuit over improper access to patient records by former employees of the Peterborough Regional Health Center more than a decade ago.
The hospital said Friday the settlement was approved following an August 30 court hearing in Peterborough.
“PRHC takes patient privacy very seriously and operates a zero-tolerance policy regarding inappropriate access to medical records,” the hospital said. “Compensation is available for eligible cla*s members. »
Former employees allegedly accessed the personal information of approximately 280 patients between 2011 and 2012. In 2015, in response to a Toronto Star article, the hospital pointed out that the breaches included certain records relating to abortion services performed at hospital between June 3, 2010 and March. 24, 2011.
Seven employees were fired following alleged breaches of confidentiality of patient records, which were reported to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
“This settlement is not an admission of liability, but a compromise on the contentious action,” the hospital said.
The hospital initially wanted the cla*s action dismissed, arguing that health privacy breaches were the responsibility of the privacy commissioner and fell under the Personal Health Information Protection Act.
But in 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that patients should be allowed to sue hospitals and staff for breaches of privacy and should not be limited to filing a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner. information and the protection of privacy.
In October 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the hospital’s further appeal.
The agreed settlement includes a payment of up to $650 to each Cla*s Member who submits a valid online claim to RicePoint, the Claims Administrator, by November 30, 2023.
A Cla*s Member is defined as any individual, or representative of an individual’s estate, who was notified in 2011 or 2012 by the CHRP that their medical records were improperly accessed by one of four former employees of the hospital.
Lawyer Lawrence Greenspon of the Ottawa-based law firm Greenspon Granger Hill, which represents the group, told PKBNEWS that 280 claimants were initially identified, but a list of 1,052 “potential” claimants had been drawn up. presented to Judge Mark Andrews, who reviewed the settlement. Greenspon said four people have since stepped down.
Cla*s members can submit a claim for compensation by completing an online form.
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