Posted On March 28, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches
March 28, 2022 – Recently, Virginia Mason Medical Center (“VMMC”) announced that the company was recently targeted in an email phishing attack, resulting in the sensitive information of both employees and patients being compromised.
It is essential those who receive a data breach notification from Virginia Mason Medical Center understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the Virginia Mason Medical Center data breach. As a part of our investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from Virginia Mason Medical Center.
In 2021, there were 1,862 data breaches affecting more than 189,000,000 individuals. Victims of identity theft spend, on average, 200 hours and more than $1,300 recovering their identity. Many of these victims also suffer credit damage, emotional distress, and may even end up with a criminal record. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.
According to a notice posted on the company’s website, VMMC recently detected unauthorized activity on its computer network. In response, VMMC investigated the incident to learn more about its causes and whether any employee or patient data was exposed as a result. The investigation confirmed that between December 21, 2021 and January 3, 2022, an unauthorized user had access to several staff email accounts. On January 18, 2022, VMMC learned that certain patients’ protected health information was accessible to the unauthorized party during this time.
Upon learning of the extent of the security breach, Virginia Mason Medical Center then reviewed the affected email accounts to determine what information was compromised. While the compromised information varies based on the consumer, it may include name, Social Security Number, passport information, driver’s license, or health insurance number, address, date of birth, dates of service, medical record numbers, and clinical information about medical treatment or diagnoses.
On around March 14, 2022, Virginia Mason Medical Center began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
Virginia Mason Medical Center is a hospital located in Seattle, Washington, and part of the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health network. Other hospitals in the network include Virginia Mason Medical Center, St. Anne Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital, St. Clare Hospital, St. Elizabeth Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Michael Medical Center, Rehabilitation Hospital, and Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health network employs more than 5,500 people and generates annual revenue of approximately $1 billion.
When you allowed VMMC access to your personal data, you trusted the company to keep your sensitive information safe. However, news of the VMMC data breach raises some very serious questions about the company’s data security measures and whether the company could have done more to prevent this type of cyber-attack.
Regardless of the industry, all businesses have a legal obligation to protect consumer information in their possession. Although creating and maintaining a data security system is costly, this is a necessary expense given the frequency with which cyberattacks occur.
Consumers whose personal, identifying, financial or healthcare-related data was compromised in a data breach can pursue legal action against a company that misused or mishandled their information. However, the investigation into the Virginia Mason Medical Center breach is only in its beginning phases. For that reason, it is too early to tell if VMMC was legally responsible for the breach. However, our data breach attorneys are investigating the Virginia Mason Medical Center security breach to determine the potential legal remedies of those affected.
If you have questions about your ability to pursue a data breach class action lawsuit against VMMC, contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
If you receive a data breach notification from VMMC in the coming weeks, it means your personal data was among that which was compromised in the recent cyberattack. It also means a cybercriminal may have had access to—and may have stolen—your personal data. Given the risks involved, it is important you remain vigilant by taking the following steps:
At Console & Associates, P.C., our consumer privacy lawyers monitor all security and data breaches to help affected consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches and can explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. If you’ve been affected by the VMMC data breach or any other data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thorough advice about how to most effectively proceed with your case. If you decide to bring a case, we only get paid if you do. If your claim is successful, any legal fees are either paid by the defendant or come out of the funds recovered from the defendant. If your claim doesn’t result in a recovery, you will pay nothing.