LabMD Files Appeal in Federal Lawsuit Against FTC

Atlanta-based LabMD has filed an appeal of a Georgia federal court's dismissal of its lawsuit alleging the FTC does not have the power to broadly regulate data security and the FTC failed to inform LabMD of how its data security measures fell short relative to a data breach at the company.

In August 2013, the FTC filed an administrative complaint against LabMD alleging the medical testing laboratory failed to adequately secure consumer information and exposed roughly 10,000 consumers' personal information including consumers' names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, insurance provider information and standardized medical treatment codes.

In March, LabMD filed suit in Georgia federal court against the FTC alleging the FTC commenced an investigation of LabMD in January 2010 and filed its administrative complaint without ever informing LabMD of how its data security measures were inadequate. The lawsuit further alleged the FTC does not have the power to broadly regulate data security and that Congress delegated the authority to regulate protected health information to HHS.

The Georgia federal court dismissed LabMD's complaint May 12, stating it lacks jurisdiction over the issues in the case because only final agency actions can be reviewed in federal court, and there is no final action for the court to review in this case.

The court dismissed the complaint because if LabMD is successful in the ongoing administrative hearing then LabMD's complaint against the FTC that was filed in federal court will be moot. In support of its decision, the court stated, "judicial intervention into the agency process denies the agency an opportunity to correct its own mistakes and to apply its expertise." 

On May 15, LabMD filed its appeal of the court's decision dismissing the lawsuit along with a request the court perform an expedited review of the case for appeal. In support of its request for a quick review, LabMD stated it "will not be able to obtain insurance and resume operations while the cloud of enforcement proceedings hangs over its head."

More Articles on Healthcare Lawsuits:

11 Recent Healthcare Lawsuits, Settlements 
Whistle-Blower Drops Class-Action Lawsuit Against UPMC Over Data Breach
Federal Court Dismisses LabMD's Suit Against FTC 

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