Judgment favors Mississippi health system in trial over stolen patient records 

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A U.S. district judge issued a default judgment siding with Jackson-based University of Mississippi Medical Center over litigation against three former employees who stole patient records and lied about their possession, Mississippi Today reported Oct. 26.

Seven details: 

1. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a default judgment Oct. 8 in the federal trade secrets lawsuit, stating the defendants' "clear, persistent pattern of perjury, evidence destruction and concealment" justified the ruling. UMMC declined Becker's comment request, citing its policy against commenting on active cases. 

2. The case is against Spencer Sullivan, MD, a former physician at UMMC; Dr. Sullivan's new clinic, Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine; and former UMMC employees Linnea McMillan and Kathryn Sue Stevens, according to court documents. 

3. UMMC hired Dr. Sullivan in July 2014 to lead its hemophilia treatment center; as part of his employment agreement, Dr. Sullivn agreed to not take or use patient data for his own benefit.  

4. In June 2016, Dr. Sullivan resigned from his post at UMMC and then used patient records stolen from UMMC —which McMillan and Stevens helped to collect — to recruit patients at his new clinic, Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine, according to the court documents. At least 20 UMMC employees came to work at Dr. Sullivan's new clinic, and  most of his UMMC patients followed Dr. Sullivan to the new practice. 

5. Throughout the course of state and federal lawsuits brought on by UMMC, Dr. Sullivan, Ms. McMillan and Ms. Stevens "lied multiple times under oath, denying they had ever taken the patient records from UMMC," according to the report. 

6. In March 2020, defendant Rachel Harris, an employee at Dr. Sullivan's clinic, admitted to previously lying about taking the patient records. She produced 1,496 pages of text messages between herself and the other defendants that showed they "all possessed and used the UMMC Patient List at [Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine], and that she lied in her deposition," according to the court documents.  

7. Dr. Sullivan previously denied he had the patient files from UMMC on a hard drive but in August admitted that he did have the records. With the default judgment issued, a trial on damages is now set for Feb. 16, 2022. 

 

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