I was at a pharmacy drive-up window that I have been going to for years, and picked up my prescription without issue. Several hours later, the person that rang up my transaction and gave me my medication at pickup contacted me on Facebook, without my permission, without me actually knowing him.
He said at one point we were friends, and that I was on his Facebook friends list, but that is untrue. We do not have any mutual friends on or off of the internet. He insisted we know each other, and did this to “get to know each other better.”
He also stated I came into his job earlier that evening, which is how I definitely know it was him (other than verifying through his Facebook profile photo). I contacted the pharmacy in regards to this situation, but I still feel unsafe.
This person obviously has access to all of my personal information, including my home address! Is this grounds for lawsuit, or just discipline through the pharmacy? Is there anything I can do? Thank you.
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
While the actions of the employee appear entirely inappropriate, there doesn’t seem to be any legal grounds either for a lawsuit or for a violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). For there to be grounds for a lawsuit, the actions of the employee would have had to result in damages to you, including defamation,
personal injury, or unwarranted financial hardship.
For there to be a violation of HIPAA, the pharmacy, by and through its employee, would have had to intentionally or recklessly disseminated your personal medical information electronically to third parties. From the facts you present, there doesn’t seem to be evidence of such a HIPAA violation.
It would be difficult to believe the pharmacy would not discipline the employee. Under the circumstances, contacting you on Facebook was an uncomfortable, but not illegal invasion of your privacy. If the behavior continues and you believe it constitutes a legitimate threat, you may be able to file harassment charges against the employee.
Learn more here: HIPAA Violations and Lawsuits
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
We wish you the best with your claim,
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