What are my rights if my private medical records were released?

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What are my rights if my private medical records were released?

My private medical record were released to my parents, 2 years ago, when I was 17. On it was incorrect information about the number of sexual partners I was with which of course alarmed my parents greatly. And additionally it outed me as gay to my parents. The hospital fired the clerk who released my records on accident but did nothing to safeguard the system. My parents did not want to pursue the issue further at the time and I did not know how and didn’t know have the means to do it. Is there any way I could pursue the issue at this point?

Asked on December 29, 2016 under Malpractice Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can try to file a complaint with the agency which oversees hospitals, but if the hospital fired the clerk who made the mistake, the hosptial did what it could and should have--they are unlikely to face liability for the error of a single employee when the hospital then took action.
You cannot sue, because the law does not provide compensation for embarrassment, being outed, etc. when that is done accidentally or negligently; there is only compensation in cases like this when it can be shown that the information was released to deliberately harm you. If that were the case, you may be able to sue the clerk who did this personally, but not the hospital--an employer is not liable for the deliberate or intentional illegal act of an employee.


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