KANSAS CITY – Children's Mercy Hospital recently filed a request to move a class action suit in a case where patient medical files were stolen from an employee's trunk to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
In the notice of removal filed July 6, Children's Mercy Hospital requested to have the court case removed from the Jackson County Circuit Court claiming the circuit court no longer has jurisdiction.
The suit against the hospital claims 239 patient medical files were stolen from a locked container in the trunk of an employee's personal vehicle in Kansas City in 2016. Patients with missing files then sued Children's Mercy Hospital for damages.
Children's Mercy Hospital, in the notice of removal, said the district court is the proper venue because the plaintiff class has more than 100 members and damages amount to more than $5 million.
The patients allege that Children's Mercy Hospital has violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by infringing on the fiduciary duties that they are entitled to. The fiduciary duties include protection and trust of the patients to keep their information private and safe.
No one has been arrested in connection with the stolen documents and they have not yet been recovered.
Children's Mercy Hospital mailed notice to all pertinent patients about the stolen documents.
The plaintiffs are also seeking interest, attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, punitive damages and restitution that the court believes is due.
The suit claims the theft has put them at an increased risk for identity theft and it is difficult to put an aggregate monetary value on what identity theft may cost. The suit claims the patients have lost confidentiality and suffered loss of enjoyment of life due to the stolen documents.
Children's Mercy Hospital has since paid for identity theft protection for the plaintiffs.