U of Wisconsin Health sued over former employee's unauthorized access of medical records

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Nineteen plaintiffs are banding together to sue Madison, Wis.-based UW Health and one of its former billing specialists, Kila Lucey, for allegedly accessing their medical records without authorization over the course of 10 years, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Ms. Lucey's ex-husband joined 15 of his family members, one friend and the estates of two deceased family members as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed Friday in Dane County Circuit Court.

According to court records, Mr. Lucey and G.W. Edward Buckeridge divorced in January 2004. The lawsuit claims Ms. Lucey accessed Mr. Buckeridge's records 687 times between May 2004 and July 2012, and accessed records of the other plaintiffs from 10 to up to 948 times in a similar timeframe. The plaintiffs said they were not aware of her unauthorized access until November 2016 when UW Health sent letters informing them of Ms. Lucey's wrongdoing.

The lawsuit does not state why she had improperly accessed 2,629 individual records of the 19 individuals, which included visit summaries, prescription records, laboratory results and medical reports.

The lawsuit alleges Ms. Lucey violated the privacy rights of the 19 plaintiffs, who seek unspecified damages, including those for emotional distress. It also alleges UW Health, as Ms. Lucey's employer, failed to properly supervise her access to health records and keep its systems secure.

UW Health spokeswoman Lisa Brunette confirmed to the Wisconsin State Journal Ms. Lucey's employment at the hospital ended June 27, 2016.

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