Can I take legal action against an RN who illegally disclosed my medical information with limited evidence?

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Can I take legal action against an RN who illegally disclosed my medical information with limited evidence?

My son’s paternal grandmother is an RN. She reported me to CPS for depression issues, using a five-year-old ER visit to support her allegations. The ER is located in the hospital that she works at. She admitted to making the complaint, but when I called the hospital to ask how she looked up my medical records, they insisted that none of my medical history had been disclosed. The CPS referral had very specific details of this ER visit, and I’ve never told anyone about it, not even my family. Am I able to take any kind of legal action against her with just the details of the CPS referral?

Asked on December 28, 2011 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here is the problem. While you may have circumstantial evidence, you need to figure out what hard evidence you have that she was the one who actually read the report from the ER and then used that in her allegations. For all you know, she could have been told this information by someone who has access to such records, or if your son is old enough to understand such complex issues and has heard you speak about it, perhaps he may have informed her. She is an RN so I believe she may be required to report possible abuse issues to Child Protective Services. The issue here is being seen for depression does not equate to child abuse, so you need to delve deeper into what someone or what she has reported. If you take legal action against her, you will have an uphill battle proving she did it but again if the CPS case is still open, you may wish to concentrate on that with counsel and then discuss this secondary HIPAA violation with your lawyer.


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