A lawsuit has been filed against Freehold Township, NJ-based CentraState Healthcare System over its December 2022 ransomware attack, a few days after the health system started sending notification letters to around 617,000 affected patients. The lawsuit alleges CentraState Medical Center was negligent for failing to implement adequate and reasonable safeguards to protect the sensitive data of its patients.
On February 10, 2023, CentraState confirmed it had suffered a ransomware attack that disrupted its computer systems. The health system detected the attack on December 29, 2022, blocked the unauthorized access, and launched an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the breach. CentraState confirmed that the hackers gained access to part of its systems that contained an archived database, and stole that database. The database included names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, medical record numbers, and patient account numbers. Complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services were offered to individuals who had their Social Security number exposed.
On February 20, 2023, a lawsuit was filed in the Monmouth County Superior Court by attorney Benjamin Johns, which named Rita Sorrentino-Poggi of Manalapan as the plaintiff. Sorrentino-Poggi was notified on February 8, 2023, that some of her information was stolen by the hackers. The lawsuit alleges that as a direct result CentraState Medical Center’s failure to protect patient data, the plaintiff’s and class members’ sensitive data is now in the hands of the hackers and, potentially, other hostile individuals. As such, the plaintiff and similarly situated victims of the data breach now face an increased risk of identity theft and fraud and will have to spend a significant amount of time and money protecting themselves against identity theft and fraud.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages, reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, and injunctive relief, including an order from the courts for CentraState to enhance data security to prevent similar attacks and data breaches in the future.
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