Physician files class-action lawsuit against Banner over data breach

Phoenix-based Banner Health faces a class-action lawsuit regarding the massive data breach it reported last week. The lawsuit, filed by a Banner physician, claims Banner was negligent and allowed the breach to occur and seeks compensation for identity protection and credit monitoring, reports The Arizona Republic.

Howard Chen, MD, works at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Ariz., and he is among the 3.7 million patients, health plan members, customers and providers whose personal information may have been compromised in the cyberattack. Hackers gained access to Banner Health computer servers, including those that process payment card information where food and beverages are sold. It was the largest data breach so far of 2016.

Banner is offering free credit and identity monitoring to affected individuals for one year. Dr. Chen's lawsuit says these steps are not sufficient reparation.

"Banner's negligence affected millions of people," said Rob Carey, the attorney filing the lawsuit on Dr. Chen's behalf, in a statement, according to the report. "It's not enough to offer a skimpy 'fix' — the law requires Banner remedy the serious risks it created for its stakeholders."

The lawsuit argues credit monitoring and identity protection are not enough to protect individuals because cyber criminals will wait a couple of years to use stolen information, often after monitoring periods expire, according to the report.

Banner indicated it is enhancing the security of its network systems, as well.

"Banner is committed to maintaining the privacy and security of information of our patients, employees, plan members and beneficiaries, customers at our food and beverage outlets, as well as our providers," said Peter Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health, in the public notice of the cyberattack.

More articles on data breaches:

Advocate to pay largest HIPAA settlement to date 
Yahoo investigates possible 200M user data breach 
Possible data breach at St. Peter's Health Partners after man given records of other patients 

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