UMass faces class-action lawsuit for data breach

Worcester, Mass.-based UMass Memorial Medical Center faces a lawsuit from a data breach victim who reused the hospital's offer to fund a year of free credit monitoring, according to a report from the News Telegram.

Robert Jackson of Worcester was a victim of a data breach involving a former hospital employee.

The hospital and the former employee, Katherine Benitez, are facing a class-action lawsuit after Mr. Jackson's lawyers said the settlement offer made in the original civil case was inadequate. Ms. Benitez, her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend are accused of stealing 22 identities, nine of whom were UMass patients, to buy cellphones and utility services.

The one-year identity monitoring deal was also offered to the 2,400 other patients at risk for identity theft because of the breach, according to the report.

In the class-action lawsuit, Mr. Jackson's lawyers propose 10 years of identity monitoring and a $3,000 payment for each of the 2,400 patients potentially affected by the identity theft.

Mr. Jackson has not yet been a direct victim of personal information or medical information theft, according to the report, though he claims he suffered distress and privacy invasion in his efforts expended responding to the breach.

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