Daily Journal lists H&L victory as one of the top five appellate results in California in 2014.
February 20, 2015
The Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal’s list of the top five appellate victories in 2014 includes Eisenhower Medical Center v. Superior Court. Horvitz & Levy LLP acted as lead appellate counsel in that case, securing a victory for its client in defeating a class action in which the plaintiffs claimed statutory damages exceeding $500 million.
Plaintiffs’ class action complaint alleged that “medical information” was released when someone stole a computer from the waiting room area of the Eisenhower Medical Center. The computer contained only the names of patients (or potential patients), birth dates, the last four digits of their social security number, and an index of numbers assigned to paper files elsewhere in the building. Plaintiffs sought $1,000 in statutory damages for each of the 500,000-plus alleged class members for a purported violation of the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) (Civ. Code, § 56, et seq.). The medical center filed a motion for summary adjudication, seeking to knock out the CMIA claim. The trial court denied the motion.
Horvitz & Levy, in association with Baker & Hostetler, filed a petition asking the Court of Appeal to overturn the trial court’s ruling. In a unanimous published decision, the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division Two) granted the petition and held, on an issue of first impression, that the demographic information (which by itself revealed nothing substantive about the person’s medical condition) is not protected under the CMIA.