A couple who won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Virginia Mason Medical Center for medical negligence has filed a second lawsuit against the hospital, this time for privacy breach.
In April 2017, Matthew and Sarah Hipps were awarded an $8.5 million verdict against Virginia Mason after a 2013 surgery performed an unauthorized physician left Matthew Hipps permanently disfigured.
According to the complaint, Virginia Mason sent the couple formal letters on May 1, notifying them their medical and financial records, which detailed Matthew Hipps' botched surgery and seven-month process to reconstruct his urethra, was seen by an unknown number of unauthorized employees.
While the initial lawsuit only involved Matthew Hipps, he was notified his wife's records had also been breached.
After the hospital refused to provide any more information about the breach, such as who committed the hack or whether their information was shared or sold, the couple decided to file another lawsuit, say their attorneys.
"After having our lives completely turned upside down by Virginia Mason's dishonesty and unethical practices, and then believing our rights had finally been restored, we're back in the same place," said Matt Hipps in a released statement. "It boggles my mind that, not once, were they willing to sit down and explain the story of what happened face-to-face. We just want this resolved."
In their letter, Virginia Mason did disclose the breach took place on April 5, the day that the jury announced their verdict in the Hipps's botched surgery case, and April 6, when The Seattle Times published an article about the case's verdict.