Florida resident says Aetna violated his privacy by sharing HIV status

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Jun 2, 2018

ORLANDO — A Florida resident who is HIV-positive is suing Aetna Health Inc. for negligence and breach of contract, alleging the insurer violated his privacy under the federal law restricting the release of medical information.

ORLANDO — A Florida resident who is HIV-positive is suing Aetna Health Inc. for negligence and breach of contract, alleging the insurer violated his privacy under the federal law restricting the release of medical information. 

The unnamed plaintiff, identified by the initials B.E., filed a complaint May 14, in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida - Orange County alleging Aetna disclosed confidential health care information.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on July 28, 2017 he received a mailed letter from the defendant about a change of pharmacy benefits and access to HIV medications. The letter was allegedly in an envelope with a large window that displayed sensitive and confidential personal information about B.E. including his first and last name, address, and prescriptions for HIV medications.

As a result, B.E. suffered increased stress, anxiety, depression, fear of stigma and emotional distress, which could aggravate his present condition. 

The plaintiff holds Aetna Health responsible because the defendant allegedly violated the Federal Standards for Privacy of Identifiable Health Information and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) by knowingly disclosing confidential and sensitive information about its clients.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury; and seeks all damages exceeding $15,000 exclusive of interest, costs, attorney's fees, and any other further relief the court may deem just and proper. He is represented by Jennifer A. Englert of The Orlando Law Group, PL in Orlando.

9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida - Orange County case number 18CA005055

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9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida - Orange County Aetna Health Inc.

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