Santa Barbara News-Press
July 11, 2014 – A class-action lawsuit filed by Kabateck Brown Kellner involving a widespread privacy breach at Cottage Health System is expanding in scope, according to a new report by the Santa Barbara News-Press. KBK filed the suit in January 2014 on behalf of an Orange County man who received treatment at Cottage Hospital. The suit contends Cottage Health System and its local area hospitals experienced a data breach that exposed private information and the medical records of more than 50-thousand patients on Google. Affected patients received treated at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital between Feb. 20, 2009, and Dec. 2, 2013.
Lead counsel Brian Kabateck said in earlier reports the data breach is indicative of reckless behavior that is all too common in the health care industry. “Nobody bothered to encrypt the data. It’s just careless,” said Kabateck. Cottage officials told the newspaper the information exposed included the patients’ name, address, date of birth, and health information for some patients related to diagnosis, lab results and procedures performed. The class-action suit is seeking $1,000 per patient.