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Florida Orthopaedic Institute faces class-action lawsuit over data breach

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – One of Florida’s largest orthopedic practices is under fire after announcing a data breach of patient information.

Mega law firm Morgan & Morgan has filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging Florida Orthopaedic Institute didn’t do enough to protect patients’ personal data and didn’t act fast enough when it discovered the breach.

“There have been many, many breaches of other hospitals and healthcare deliveries, which have sent a warning bell to protect this information, and that wasn’t done in this case,” said Attorney John Yanchunis, who filed the lawsuit.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute sent letters, dated June 18, to current and former patients, potentially thousands, alerting them of the breach and offering free credit monitoring.

Yanchunis says the monitoring is only for a year and doesn’t do nearly enough to help victims. The lawsuit seeks $99 million.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute was unavailable for comment but a letter from the provider to patients states that “there is no evidence that your information was misused.”

Yanchunis points out that the point of stealing personal data is to misuse it, and says the threat will linger for years to come, especially for younger patients, many of whom are minors.

The lawsuit calls into issue how quickly the practice responded.

“They detected this in early April, consumers weren’t notified until the middle of June. Certainly, this information was in the hands of cybercriminals and was being used maliciously,” Yanchunis said.

If you receive a letter from FOI about this breach, keep in mind that you have until Sept. 20 to enroll in the credit monitoring offered.

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