Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:03 pm
Medical data breach suits to stay in state
Rebecca S. Green | The Journal Gazette
After a few months of wrangling between lawyers in various federal courts around the country, the 30-plus lawsuits stemming from a local medical data breach will be handled locally.
Beginning at the end of July, lawsuits against Fort Wayne-based Medical Informatics Engineering began popping up.
Between May 7 and May 26, personal and medical information of about 4 million people was accessed during a data breach at MIE and its personal health information management system, No More Clipboard.
The health care information technology company reported the hack to the FBI after employees alerted officials to an unusually high load on one of their computer servers.
Lawyers seeking class-action status for their cases filed lawsuits in California, Kansas, Washington and, of course, Indiana.
Most of the lawsuits were filed here, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
In December, a U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled all the cases belonged in the Northern District of Indiana.
"The majority of the actions are pending in that district, and numerous plaintiffs support centralization there," wrote Judge Sarah Vance, chair of the panel.
"The center of gravity of this litigation is located in the Northern District of Indiana," she continued, noting the accessible location of the district.
They will be handled by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. in the district’s South Bend division.
Vance said Miller has the ability to handle the litigation efficiently and prudently.
Interim lead counsel will be attorneys with the Indianapolis firm of Cohen & Malad LLP.