Warren woman files $5,000,000 suit over Anthem data breach | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

A Warren woman as filed a class action lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield over the health insurance giant's recently announced data breach.

Marnetta Xides is the plaintiff in the suit filed by Cleveland area attorney Michael Pasternak in U.S. District Court.

The civil lawsuit alleges that Anthem is guilty of negligence, fraud and breach of contract as a result of a data breach that could affect 80 million current and former customers around the nation.

The complaint says that hackers gained personal information including names, birthdates, Social Security number, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, health insurer member identification numbers, employment information, and income data.

The suit says that not only did Anthem fail to encrypt the personal data, but it also put customers at risk by using and keeping Social Security numbers instead of utilizing unique health insurer member identification numbers like those used by other insurers.

Anthem has said that it discovered on January 27, 2015 that its computer systems has been breached as early as December 10, 2014. Anthem made information public on February 4, 2015.

The suit says that Anthem did not implement reasonable security measures until after the data breach was discovered.

The lawsuit does not say that Xides has personally been a victim of identity theft because of the breach, but she and other Anthem subscribers will face a number of negative consequences that could include fraudulent tax returns and medical identity fraud.

The suit asks a federal judge to declare the suit a class action, which would allow other current and former Anthem customers to join as plaintiffs.

A civil cover sheet filed with the lawsuit claims that damages are expected to exceed $5 million.

Anthem has not filed an response to the lawsuit.

The insurer has notified present and former customers about the data breach by mail and email. It is offering 24 months of identity theft repair and credit monitoring services to current or former members of an affected Anthem plan dating back to 2004.