Judge dismisses privacy claim in BJC HealthCare phishing attack lawsuit 

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While BJC HealthCare must face most of the claims from a class action tied to an email data breach from last year, an Illinois federal judge tossed out an invasion of privacy claim made by the plaintiffs, according to the judge’s order hosted on Bloomberg.

Five details: 

1. Two former patients of St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare filed a class action against the health system over a March 2020 data incident, in which three employees' email accounts were breached, exposing patients' personal health information. 

2. Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosentengel dismissed the plaintiffs' invasion of privacy and bailment claims in a June 29 order in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. 

3. The judge threw out the invasion of privacy claim because Illinois law states that a party alleging privacy intrusion must show that the act was intentional, which the plaintiffs did not prove, according to Rosentengel. 

4. While the plaintiffs also sought to bring a claim of bailment against BJC HealthCare, the judge dismissed it because they did not allege that they sought the return of their PHI, or "property," or that the health system failed to return it, the judge said. 

5. BJC HealthCare must face the remaining eight counts in the lawsuit, which include breach of contract, negligence and vicarious liability. 

BJC HealthCare declined Becker's comment request. 

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