© Star photo by Diane Crocker
Lawyer Scott Burden of Brothers and Burden Law Office is seen in Supreme Court in Corner Brook Thursday.
CORNER BROOK The woman alleged to have inappropriately accessed the files of over 1,000 people while employed as a clerk with Western Health at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook has been removed as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit over the privacy breach.
That leaves Western Health as the sole defendant in the matter.
Lawyers for all sides met in Supreme Court in the city on Thursday for a case management meeting with Justice William Goodridge. Following the meeting, Scott Burden of Brothers and Burden Law Office said Donna Colbourne’s removal was really for the purpose of convenience.
“Both the plaintiffs and the current defendant, Western Health, decided to do what might make the action more efficient in terms of the procedure,” he said. “We allege that she is vicariously liable as an employee acting on behalf of an employer anyway, so to name her individually was not necessary.”
While Colbourne, who was fired from her job after the breach was discovered, was represented by counsel, who appeared via telephone, in court, Burden expects they will just move on.
The case management meeting was set to update all involved on the progress of the case.
Originally, the court was asked to consider two class-actions, one brought forward by Brothers and Burden and the second by St. John’s lawyer Bob Buckingham. Both of those have now been consolidated and Buckingham will act as lead counsel on the case.
With that process complete Goodridge scheduled a certification hearing for the matter for Dec. 4 and 5. He gave Buckingham until Oct. 18 to file the necessary paperwork for the hearing and lawyers for Western Health have until Nov. 8 to file any affidavits or briefs.
Meanwhile, Colbourne’s legal issues surrounding the June 2011 to May 2012 breach are not over yet. She’s been charged with violating the Personal Health Information Act by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and is expected to enter a plea on that charge when she appears in provincial court here on Nov. 29.