Can I Sue a Lawyer for Disclosing My Personal Medical Records in Court?

08/09/2011 - Medical Records - State: NC #25304

Full Question:

i believe my personal medical record was mailed to my old address where my personal medical records were in the letter. during a custody preliminary. The oppositions lawyer divulged that they were in possession of such record and divulged to the court material pertaining to the medical records. Can one persue action under the hipaa laws as well federal theft of mail actions against the attorney and the client?

Answer:

The answer will depend on all the facts involved, such as whether mail addressed to you only was opened by another, whether the participants are covered entities, and the information gathered. An attorney in a custody case would not be considered a covered entity. Mail theft is a federal crime with a 5 year statute of limitations. If identity theft was involved, other statutes may apply. In some cases, by filing a lawsuit, such as a personal injury claim, or making one's physical or mental health an issue, you are deemed to have waived the privilege of privacy that attaches to your medical records and the opposing party has a right to obtain the records through the discovery process. Please see the following federal law: § 1708. Theft or receipt of stolen mail matter generally Whoever steals, takes, or abstracts, or by fraud or deception obtains, or attempts so to obtain, from or out of any mail, post office, or station thereof, letter box, mail receptacle, or any mail route or other authorized depository for mail matter, or from a letter or mail carrier, any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or abstracts or removes from any such letter, package, bag, or mail, any article or thing contained therein, or secretes, embezzles, or destroys any such letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein; or Whoever steals, takes, or abstracts, or by fraud or deception obtains any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein which has been left for collection upon or adjacent to a collection box or other authorized depository of mail matter; or Whoever buys, receives, or conceals, or unlawfully has in his possession, any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein, which has been so stolen, taken, embezzled, or abstracted, as herein described, knowing the same to have been stolen, taken, embezzled, or abstracted— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. We are prohibited from giving a legal opinion, as this service provides information of a general legal nature. We suggest you contact a local attorney who can review all the facts and documents involved. For further discussion, please see: http://www.hipaa.com/2009/09/hipaa-protected-health-information-what-does-phi-include/

Links: Please see the information at the following links: http://www.uslegalforms.com/legaldefinitions/i/invasion-of-privacy.php http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/privacy/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/r/right-to-privacy/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/r/releases/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/health-insurance-portability-and-accountability-act-hipaa/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/privacy-privilege/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/consents/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/health-insurance-portability-and-accountability-act-hipaa/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/hipaa-confidentiality-regulations/ Please see the form at the following link: http://www.uslegalforms.com/us/US-AHI-017.htm

08/09/2011 - Category: Medical Records - State: NC #25304

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