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Proposed class-action settlement reached in CDHA privacy breach

FILE - A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action concerning improper access of medical records of CDHA patients by a former employee.
FILE - A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action concerning improper access of medical records of CDHA patients by a former employee. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

A proposed class-action settlement has been reached in a privacy breach at the Capital District Health Authority.

According to Wagners Law Firm, which is representing the class members, affected patients could receive up to $2,750 if the settlement is approved.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by two patients who were affected by the breach.

READ: Study urges hospitals to reduce paper documents to protect patient privacy

According to a press release from the health authority in February 2012, a former employee was originally found to have accessed the electronic personal health information of 15 people. That discovery prompted an extensive audit, which revealed 105 people were actually affected.

The proposed class-action settlement provides financial compensation to every patient who had medical records breached.

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If approved by a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, each relative of the former employee will receive $2,750. Each non-relative will receive $1,400.

“The increased payment to relatives acknowledges the greater harm caused by the nature of the relationship,” the law firm said in a news release.

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Patients who feel they experienced additional emotional or financial harm beyond the base payment can apply for further compensation through an arbitration process, that cannot exceed $8,000.

A court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 31 to seek approval for the settlement. Any class member who objects to the proposed settlement can make a submission before the judge.