A group of patients filed a class-action lawsuit against Sutter Health this week, after it was revealed a laptop containing information on more than 4 million patients was stolen from the headquarters of the Sutter Medical Foundation (SMF) in Natomas, California.
The lawsuit, filed in the Sacramento Superior Court on behalf of plaintiff Karen Pardieck, is seeking $1,000 for each of the 944,000 patients involved in the class, plus attorneys' fees. In total, the lawsuit amounts to more than $1 billion.
Earlier this month, Sutter Health revealed that a company-issued laptop had been stolen from the administrative offices of the SMF on October 15. The computer, according to a press release from Sutter Health, was password-protected, but much of the data contained on it was unencrypted. No medical records were stored on the computer, but the machine did hold a database that contained information on 3.3 million Sutter Physicians Services (SPS) patients and 943,000 SMF patients.
Persons seeking to preserve any potential legal claims should contact an attorney promptly, since all states have mandatory time periods in which lawsuits must be filed with the courts; otherwise, they may be forever barred.
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