Medical Student Sues Hospital and University for Unauthorized Use of PHI in Teaching

A medical student is filing a lawsuit against Marshall University and Cabell Huntington Hospital because some of his protected health information (PHI) was impermissibly disclosed to a class of students.

The medical student, which the lawsuit referred to as J.M.A, claims that a professor at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine used his x-rays as a teaching tool. The images used still contained the identifying mark of J.M.A. as the patient.

Another faculty member brought the matter to the attention of the university. The medical school dean sent a notification of privacy violation to J.M.A. on April 15, 2018. The university did not know that the professor was using his x-ray images in teaching.

J.M.A. alleges that he has experienced shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and serious anxiety because of his identity disclosure. The number of people who were able to view the x-rays is uncertain. It is also now known how many of them disclosed to other people what they saw.

Troy N. Giatras, Phillip A. Childs and Matthew W. Stonestreet of The Giatras Law Firm are representing J.M.A in seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The defendants, namely Cabell Huntington Hospital; Radiology Inc., Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall University Board of Governors, had submitted three motions to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that it was filed in the wrong venue. Furthermore, the plaintiff was unable to declare a claim on which relief may be provided.