Rhine Law Firm, P.C. has filed a lawsuit on behalf of current and former Shorter University students in the wake of a data breach in which up to 900 individuals’ medical files were allegedly stolen out of an unlocked room on campus.
Rhine Law Firm, P.C., in conjunction with a consortium of prominent data breach attorneys throughout the country, has filed a class-action lawsuit* against Shorter University over a September 2014 incident in which hundreds of current and former students’ personal and medical information was allegedly stolen out of a filing cabinet in an unlocked room on campus.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, several plaintiffs, who are former members of Shorter University’s athletic program, allege the school “failed to safeguard and secure personally identifiable” student information, including birth dates, Social Security numbers, and billing information, as well as “personal health-related information.” The Complaint alleges that on or around September 23, 2014, records for as many as 900 current and former Shorter students were allegedly stolen from an unlocked filing cabinet in an unlocked room by “an unauthorized person.” Plaintiffs, whose records were maintained by Shorter University from at least 2007 to 2014, had their personal medical records stored at Shorter after they underwent physical examinations, a prerequisite necessary to participate in Shorter’s athletic program. These former and current students complain that their PII and PHI was used, among other nefarious ways, to file fraudulent tax returns and steal their hard-earned tax refunds. Now, they face a complicated process of trying to unwind this theft and will be subject to many other attacks in the future.
Although the school sent letters to some individuals notifying them of the data breach, they did not reach every student subject to the theft, and some students did not receive any message that their information may have been stolen, according to allegations contained in court documents.