Settlement Follows Substantial Reinforcement of Boys Town’s Data Security Systems
OMAHA, Nebraska, [December 17, 2019] – Boys Town National Research Hospital and plaintiffs Amanda Coleman, Barbara Jensen today announced that they have reached a proposed settlement agreement resolving a class action lawsuit filed following a 2018 breach of Boys Town’s computer network and exposure of certain patients’ personal information.
The breach was carried out by an unknown, third-party hacker, and resulted in the exposure of certain patients’ information for a period of approximately five hours. While Boys Town denies any wrongdoing and contends that there is no evidence that any patient data was actually viewed or taken, let alone disseminated or misused as a result of the breach, the parties agreed to the proposed settlement in order to avoid the uncertainty, expense and inconvenience associated with continued litigation. The parties believe that the proposed settlement agreement is in the best interests of the plaintiffs and Boys Town patients who make up the class.
If the proposed settlement agreement is approved by the District Court of Douglas County, Nebraska, Boys Town will make available up to $3.5 million to a settlement fund, from which payments of up to $4,000 will be made to class members who submit valid claims. Boys Town will also provide credit monitoring and identity theft protection for all class members for up to 30 months.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Jeremiah Frei-Pearson of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP said, “This proposed settlement is a fair outcome and it vindicates the privacy rights of the plaintiffs. Through this process, one thing was always clear: both parties agree that protecting patients’ personal information is critically important. We are gratified that we were able to build upon that common ground to reach this agreement, which will generously compensate class members.”
Because guarding patients’ personal data is of paramount importance to the hospital, Boys Town has spent the last eighteen months working diligently to assess and fortify its network security and protocols to defend against future cyberattacks. “We care deeply about providing best-in-class treatments to our patients and about safeguarding their privacy,” said Edward M. Kolb, M.D., MBA, Executive Vice President of Health Care at Boys Town. “We maintain our unwavering commitment to data security at the hospital, because nothing is more important to us than the trust of our patients.”
About Boys Town National Research Hospital
Boys Town National Research Hospital offers a broad range of hospital and clinic services, backed by 40 years of life-changing research to provide the latest, most innovative care to our patients. The Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in hearing research and clinical care and is leading research efforts in language and neuroscience to improve the lives of children and families across America.
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