Case management meeting set in class-action lawsuits

Diane Crocker
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CORNER BROOK — A case management meeting in the breach of privacy lawsuits filed against Western Health is scheduled to take place at Supreme Court in Corner Brook on Feb. 8.

Scott Burden, of Brothers and Burden Law Office, is representing some 250 to 300 people who had their personal information inappropriately accessed by a former employee of the health authority.

The breach was uncovered last May following an investigation into a complaint. The investigation looked at the access to patient records from June 2011 to May 2012 and found that 1,043 files had been inappropriately accessed.

Western Health went public with the breach on Aug. 1 and said it would be sending letters of apology to those affected. The employee involved was fired and at the time Susan Gillam, CEO of the health authority, said it would not be pursuing criminal charges against that person.

In the weeks that followed two class-action lawsuits were filed with the Supreme Court.  

Burden’s suit names Valerie Dyke and Catherine Allen-Vater as representative plaintiffs and lists Donna Colbourne, the former clerk accused of the breach, and Western Health as defendants.

A suit being handled by St. John’s lawyer Bob Buckingham lists Barbara Hynes as the representative plaintiff.

Burden said Wednesday that Western Health has not filed a statement of defence in response to the statements of claim filed against it.

However, he said that was “nothing unexpected,” as the rules don’t indicate the health authority has to do so.

Burden said during the case management meeting all sides will receive direction from the judge on how the matter should proceed.

The next step would involve having the class-action certified, but Burden noted it’s too early in the process to discuss that.

Organizations: Supreme Court

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • a money grab
    January 17, 2013 - 07:26

    it's all about money. This is a nosey employee that was fired. Individuals were notified about breach as the next step. Not one cent is due to anyone UNLESS you can prove that ths private information was used at a financial cost to that individual. I never heard any news reports saying someone had their finances accessed. Get over it. It could have been any of us. It should not have happened but it does. Clinics, hospitals, universities, banks....all have personal and private information about us all. Employees that poke their noses in files with no valid reason should be firmly disciplined.

    • Gerry Wells
      January 17, 2013 - 19:44

      Good luck with this, you will need it using this lawyer.