Telemedicine

MDLive seeks dismissal of class-action lawsuit

Last week, telehealth company MDLive filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that claims it doesn’t protect patients’ sensitive health information.

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Sunrise, Florida-based MDLive filed a motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging the telehealth company of not protecting the privacy of patients’ information.

In the motion filed last week, MDLive says the suit “falsely accuses MDLIVE of deception and contract breaches. The complaint also intimates that a widespread data breach occurred when, in fact, (even based on the allegations) no data breach — large or small  happened. Nor did an unauthorized disclosure occur,” according to GovInfoSecurity.com.

Plaintiff Joan Richards filed the class-action lawsuit in Florida on April 18. It alleges MDLive takes screenshots during the first 15 minutes patients use the app, during which they are prompted to enter their health information. The suit claims MDLive then sends these screenshots to a third party tech company, Tel Aviv, Israel-based TestFairy, without notifying patients. TestFairy tracks users’ experience and finds potential bugs within the MDLive app.

But the telehealth company counters Richards’ claims are “baseless,” primarily because of its Terms of Use Contract. The motion notes:

Richards ignores the Terms of Use Contract altogether, opting instead to allege non-existent contract terms and representations. Indeed, the Terms of Use Contract allows MDLIVE to share the limited information Richards allegedly provided with third-party contractors — who are under confidentiality obligations with MDLIVE — to assist MDLIVE in developing and improving its app.

It continues by stating that Richards’ “failure to rely on the actual Terms of Use Contract available on the site, to which every user must affirmatively assent in order to gain access to MDLIVE, is ironic and telling.”

Edelson PC’s Dillon Brozyna, one of Richards’ attorneys, told Information Security Media Group that the law firm is drafting a response to MDLive’s motion.

This motion comes after MDLive disputed the claims of Richards’ suit. Less than one week after the lawsuit was filed, MDLive issued a statement, which said that not only are Richards’ claims “misleading,” but that there was no data breach or violation of HIPAA.

The telehealth company also said TestFairy, which MDLive uses to improve its app, is under contract to maintain confidentiality and that it “has no access to patient information that arises from patient-physician consultations.”

“Our services, policies and procedures are designed to keep personally identifiable information secure and meet the strictest legal and regulatory standards,” MDLive CEO Scott Decker said in a statement at the time. “The claims of this lawsuit are entirely without merit, and we will immediately seek its dismissal.”

Photo: bernardbodo, Getty Images