UCLA was absolved by a California judge last week in a suit filed by a patient of a UCLA affiliated doctor’s group, who alleged that a temporary worker in the doctor’s office used the doctor’s username and password to get into her boyfriend’s previous girlfriend’s medical record. The medical record contained information that the previous girlfriend had a sexually transmitted disease.
The temporary worker texted photos of the medical records to her boyfriend and others.
The previous girlfriend alleged $1.25 million in damages as a result of the unauthorized disclosure. UCLA defended the action stating it could not be held responsible for misconduct of an affiliated doctor’s temporary employee.
The judge agreed and dismissed the Complaint.
This result is quite different than the very similar fact scenario against Walgreen Company when a pharmacist accessed and disclosed sexually transmitted information of a former girlfriend to her boyfriend. Walgreens was tagged by a jury for $1.4 million in that case, despite the fact that the pharmacist admitted she was outside the scope of her employment and violated Walgreen’s policies when she accessed and disclosed the information. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals of Indiana.