Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

15K Patient Records Stolen From Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Kadri, a plastic surgeon with an office on Los Angeles's famous Rodeo Drive, has reported that a former employee has stolen thousands of patient records. While privacy rules prevent the doctor from disclosing whether the records stolen include any celebrities, the doctor did explain that the plastic surgery practice has helped countless affluent individuals from many different states and countries.

The employee quit after being confronted about embezzling money. When she quit, she claimed to have lost the company cell phone. However, the cell phone was found at the practice's Palmdale records storage office, after discovering the location had been burglarized. As such, the theft of the 15,000 patient records (the actual paper records) is presumed to be the work of this former employee. Unfortunately, what was found on the phone gave the doctor even more pause.

Why Would Someone Steal Medical Records?

Although stealing patient records sounds rather odd, it is very likely the disgruntled employee was looking for more than just celebrity medical information. Often patient records for small medical practices will include financial information, such as payment methods.

However, celebrity medical records could themselves have value due to the way that gossip publications lust after the private details of the lives of the rich and famous. Additionally, celebrity medical records could potentially contain other private information such as celebrity phone numbers or addresses.

What's on the Phone?

In addition to the stolen medical records, after the doctor was able to have the former employee's company phone unlocked, it was discovered that many more privacy breaches had occurred while she was still employed. Not only were photographs of customer credit cards and private information found on the phone, but pictures of patients before, during, and after, procedures were discovered. To make matters worse, it was also discovered that several pictures had been shared via text message and via social media.

Dr. Kadri has begun notifying patients, but noted that it may be impossible in some cases as the records themselves contain the patient contact information.

Related Resources: