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Florida Jury Finds Walgreens, Pharmacist Guilty of HIPAA Violations, Awards $1.44 Million

Posted by attorney Randy Enochs
Filed under: Privacy law

This past Friday, at the conclusion of a four-day trial, a Marion County, Florida jury awarded a woman $1.44 million after finding Walgreens and a pharmacist violated her privacy when the pharmacist looked up and shared the woman’s prescription history. The lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court spun out of a tangled relationship between the pharmacist, her husband and the man’s ex-girlfriend. From the linked-story on the verdict:

The lawsuit alleged Audra Peterson, a pharmacist at the Walgreens store at 6269 W. 38th St., improperly reviewed the prescription history of Abigail Hinchy, Crown Point, and divulged that confidential information. “As a provider of pharmaceutical service, defendant Walgreens Co. owes a non-delegable duty to its customers to protect their privacy and confidentiality of its customers’ pharmaceutical information and prescription histories," Hinchy claimed in the lawsuit. Walgreens was negligent in training and supervising Peterson, the suit said, while Peterson breached her statutory and common law duties of confidentiality and privacy to Hinchy. The six-member jury found for Hinchy, ruling the pharmacist and Walgreens violated privacy rules when Peterson looked up records on Hinchy, her husband’s ex-girlfriend, according to attorney Neal F. Eggeson, who represented Hinchy. He said testimony indicated Peterson then shared that information with her husband, Davion Peterson, who has a child with Hinchy.

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