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Privacy Breach Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against CarePartners

Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP, Waddell Phillips PC and Schneider Law Firm have joined forces to launch a class action lawsuit against CarePartners arising out of a cyber-attack in June 2018.

The CarePartners privacy breach class action lawsuit seeks compensation on behalf of current and former CarePartners patients and staff in Canada whose personal information was implicated in the cyber-attack. The action alleges that cyber hackers were able to exploit CarePartners’ inadequate and outdated security systems to access CarePartners’ computer network and as a result the personal information of patients and staff held in that system was inappropriately accessed by the hackers.

The personal information included detailed medical records, financial information, and contact information, along with information about patients’ daily lives, workplaces, families and homes.

Updates

A Settlement Has Been Reached

The parties have negotiated a settlement of this proposed class action.  A copy of the Settlement Agreement can be viewed here.

The settlement must be approved by the Superior Court of Justice before it can be enforced. A hearing to certify the action as a class proceeding and to approve the settlement agreement has been scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 10:00 AM (ET) for one half day, via videoconference.

The videoconference can be accessed at the following link: https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/61647172548?pwd=aWMyM1ZEOEcwUDBIQ0Y1RWxOdHZpUT09

Individuals who wish to attend the hearing, should plan to log in 30 – 45 minutes before the start time for the hearing to allow time to be admitted before the hearing begins.

The Terms of the Settlement

CarePartners has agreed to pay up to $3.44 million to fully and finally settle the action, all inclusive. The Class will provide CarePartners with a full and final release in return.

The total amount paid by CarePartners will be based on the total number of people whose data was taken from CarePartners’ computer systems and then provided to the CBC by the hackers. The CBC has reported that it may have received the data of up to 80,000 individuals. If the data released to the CBC pertains to fewer than 45,000 individuals, then the settlement total will be reduced to $2.44 million.

The amount paid to each qualifying class member will depend on the total number of affected class members, and how many people make a claim. We estimate the payment will be at least $25 per person.

The CBC has not released any of the data produced by the hackers (although CBC reporters did review the data), and has kept the information in a secure, off-line location.

What Happens Next

The action must first be certified and the settlement approved before any funds will be paid out.

If the settlement is approved by the court, individuals whose personal information was included in the data produced to the CBC will be considered qualified class members and they will be entitled to receive a share of the settlement fund. The court will set a deadline and the settlement fund will be divided equally among all qualified class members who submit a claim before that date. A notice will be sent to the last known address for every individual who is identified as a qualified class member. The notice will included details about how to submit a claim and the submission deadline.

If you do not wish to be included in this class action, then you will have the opportunity to “opt out” after it is certified as a class action.  The details about how to opt out will be posted on this website if the action is certified and the settlement is approved.

If you object to this proposed settlement, then you may make submissions to the court explaining why you object. You can email your written objection to either Paul Miller at pmiller@hshlawyers.com or Christine Sesek at csesek@hshlawyers.com. Alternatively, you can attend at the virtual hearing and make your objections to the court in person.

If you want more information about the settlement, we would be pleased to speak with you or send you an email. please contact our team at 1-877-771-7006 or email Paul Miller directly at pmiller@hshlawyers.com or email Christine Sesek directly at csesek@hshlawyers.com.

Documents

The Facts

CarePartners is one of Ontario’s largest private healthcare services providers. It specializes in providing out-of-hospital care to patients at their homes, schools, or workplaces, including personal support care, nursing care, rehabilitation care, caregiver support and palliative care. CarePartners provides its services to patients primarily as a partner of Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks and runs its own network of clinics.

At the time of the cyber-attack, CarePartners had provided services to approximately 237,000 patients, and held substantial amounts of sensitive personal health information for each one of those patients, as well as personal information for its over 4,500 staff and contract workers.

On June 11, 2018, hackers informed CarePartners that they had accessed the CarePartners network and extracted data from its servers. The hackers attached a sample of CarePartners’ patient and employee data, which CarePartners verified to be authentic data that had resided on its servers. The hackers demanded undisclosed amounts of money from CarePartners as a ransom in exchange for the hackers not posting or selling the data online. CarePartners did not pay the ransom, and the hackers began approaching media outlets regarding the breach, which included providing CBC News reporters with access to a large sample of the stolen data.

CarePartners did not provide individuals affected by the cyber-attack with direct notice that the attack had occurred until after the CBC News report. The notice that was provided did not explain how the breach occurred, the scope of the data that was stolen, or what efforts CarePartners made to recover the data. To date, CarePartners has not provided affected individuals with any details regarding these important issues.

The Law

According to the law, CarePartners owes a duty of care to its patients and staff and is obliged to maintain confidentiality and protect the privacy of its patients and staff’s personal information.

Every patient and staff of CarePartners has the reasonable expectation that their right to privacy and confidentiality will be respected. That means their personal information will not be disclosed to the public or to any unauthorized individuals without their express consent. It also means that CarePartners will have appropriate safeguards to protect against a cyber-attack and to limit the exposure even in the case of a successful cyber-attack.

The Canadian CarePartners privacy breach lawsuit alleges that through CarePartners’ failure to have proper security protections in place to protect the highly sensitive information of its patients and staff, those expectations were not met, and that CarePartners breached the privacy rights of its patients and staff.

The Proposed Class Proceeding

This proposed CarePartners privacy breach class action lawsuit is brought in Canada on behalf of all persons, excluding CarePartners’ senior executives, officers and directors, whose personal information was accessed in the cyber-attack and produced to the CBC. The claim alleges that CarePartners is liable for breach of privacy, breach of contract, negligence, and various breaches of various statutes.

Contact Us

If you are a current or former patient, employee, or contractor of CarePartners, you may be eligible for compensation for the damages you suffered due to the cyber-attack. To identify yourself as a potential member of the CarePartners privacy breach class action lawsuit in Canada and for more information, please contact our team at 1-877-771-7006 or email Paul Miller directly at pmiller@hshlawyers.com or email Christine Sesek directly at csesek@hshlawyers.com. There is no cost to you to participate as a class member in this proposed class action. The lawyers are working on a contingency fee arrangement, and will only be paid from the proceeds of the litigation, if it is successful.

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Among the best in Canada

Since 2011 Canadian Lawyer Magazine rated us one of the top personal injury law firms in Canada. Why? With close to 20 years helping accident victims and their families, our firm understands the laws that affect your rights to compensation because we’ve helped shape those laws in favour of accident victims.