COLUMBIA, Mo. - A growing group of individuals impacted by a data breach at MU Health Care are part of a class action lawsuit that was filed Tuesday.
MU Health Care announced in a statement Friday that an "unauthorized individual" may have had access to two employees' email accounts in late April. As a result, the private and health information of more than 14,000 patients may have been implicated.
"We have no indication that individuals’ information was actually viewed by the unauthorized individual, or that it has been misused," the online statement reads. The company set up a call center for anyone with questions regarding the breach. The number is 833-762-0222, and is open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m Monday through Friday.
In response to the breach, more than 10 affected individuals have joined a class action lawsuit seeking damages from MU Health Care. Attorney A. W. Smith said his office and the other firm representing the group, Lear Werts LLP, have responded to several people hoping to learn more about the lawsuit since it was filed Tuesday.
The lawsuit, which is available below, is seeking damages from MU Health Care as a result of their failure to retain sensitive information. It also demands a strengthening of MU Health Care's data security system, including annual audits.
"This isn’t just any type of information. This is Protected Health information," or PHI, Smith said. "PHI is more valuable on the black market than credit card numbers or personal identifiable information."
MU Health Care is the only source of information on the incident. Smith said he is skeptical of the company's claim that no one's information was viewed by the unauthorized individual or others.
"Of course the university is going to try to downplay this," Smith said. "How can they say that it’s only a small number of people?"
No hearings have been scheduled yet, according to online court records.