St. Joseph Health System Class Action Proceeds to Trial

Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. is pleased to announce that on June 18, 2015, the Fourth Appellate District (Division One) of the California Court of Appeal summarily denied St. Joseph Health System’s petition for a peremptory writ of mandate, prohibition, or other relief in which it sought to overturn the trial court’s orders granting class certification and denying St. Joseph Health System’s motion for summary judgment.

In February 2012, Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. filed a class action lawsuit against St. Joseph Health System alleging the health system failed to properly secure the confidential medical information of approximately 31,802 patients in violation of California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Civil Code §§ 56 et seq.). Ongoing discovery in the case (St. Joseph Health System Medical Information Cases, JCCP No. 4716) has revealed that St. Joseph Health System was gathering the confidential medical information, including diagnoses, lab results, allergies, smoking status and medication lists, among others, in order to obtain millions of dollars of government funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  As part of this process, St. Joseph Health System failed to maintain and secure those reports, and they were subsequently accessed by unauthorized parties, including Google and other search engines that downloaded, viewed, cached, indexed and analyzed the confidential medical information.

In December 2014, the trial court certified a class of individuals whose confidential medical information was made publicly accessible on the Internet by St. Joseph Health System.  In January 2015, the trial court denied St. Joseph Health System’s motion for summary judgment which sought an order that there was no dispute as to any material fact (and that Plaintiffs’ case should be dismissed).  St. Joseph Health System filed the writ petition with the Court of Appeal that was recently denied.  Trial in this case is scheduled to begin August 24, 2015.