Can I sue hospital over not ensuring the privacy of my medical records to ex mother in law who worked there and was subsequently fired for it?

My ex mother in law accessed my records according to my daughter who had
information she couldn’t have received otherwise. After investigation the
hospital called and apologized and said they could not confirm my ex mother
in law didn’t access my records physically. They ruled out electronically. She
was terminated thereafter.

This information directly affected my family law case where she also worked
and I lost custody of my daughter.

Thank you,

Asked on September 5, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot. A business or institution, including a hospital, is not liable when its employees break its rules or the law; that is because breaking the rules or the law is not what those employees are hired for, and doing so is not part of their employment (employers are only liable for what employees due as part of their employment). Your ex-mother-in-law violated the hospital's rules and the law about privacy of medical records and was fired for it (which shows that what she did was against the rules); the hospital is not liable for that.


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