Medical Corporation Not Liable for Employee’s Disclosure of Confidential Information

February 21, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that a New York medical corporation is not responsible for the unauthorized disclosure of patient information when the employee who discloses the information acts outside the scope of his or her employment. The lawsuit involved a patient who visited a clinic for treatment of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). A nurse employed by the clinic recognized the patient as her sister-in-law’s boyfriend. She accessed the patient’s medical record, found out about the STD, and texted her sister-in-law about the patient’s condition. The sister-in-law immediately forwarded the messages to her boyfriend, who later complained to the clinic’s administrator, and the nurse was fired. The patient sued the clinic on eight different legal grounds, and the court dismissed five of the allegations.

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