Pennsylvania health system files lawsuit against Nuance over malware attack

Beaver, Pa.-based Heritage Valley Health System has filed a lawsuit against Nuance over a 2017 malware attack that caused major disruption at the system, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The malware attack shutdown X-ray machines and hospital laboratories. Clinicians had to redraw patients' blood for testing prior to surgery. Additionally, hospital staff had to cut off identification bracelets for newborns when discharged and restart its alarm system, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. HVHS is seeking undisclosed punitive and compensatory damages along with legal fees and interest.

In June 2017, Nuance was attacked by malware, named NotPetya, which jammed its computer network. The computer virus spread to infect 14,800 computer servers and 26,000 workstations at Nuance before it infiltrated HVHS, according to the lawsuit.

Once the malware infected HVHS, clinicians were unable to access patient records. Becker's Hospital Review has reached out the Nuance for comment.

"The destruction of the NotPetya malware caused to HVHS and its patients was immediate and substantial," the lawsuit claims. "The incident affected the entire health system, including satellite and community locations. "

HVHS was infected by the malware through a virtual private network. Nuance and the health system were able to restore services.

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