Health IT

Allscripts ransomware attack leads to class action lawsuit by medical practice: Is this the new normal? (Updated)

 Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics filed the class-action suit, which claims Allscripts committed negligence, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violated several state laws.

After more than one week transpired since a major ransomware attack prevented many of Allscripts’ 1,500 clients from accessing basic services, the health IT vendor claimed that service had been reinstated to all of its users who had struggled with technical problems in the wake of the SamSam attack, according to Healthcare Analytics News.

But the health IT vendor faces a class action lawsuit filed by one unhappy customer — namely sports medicine and pain management practice Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Surfside claims Allscripts committed negligence, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violated several state laws, according to Fierce Healthcare citing the suit. Surfside, on behalf of all affected clients, is demanding unspecified restitution and compensatory damages.

Small medical practices were especially hard hit by the Allscripts attack by SamSam ransomware and even as late as Thursday were still struggling to access basic services such as patient schedule and e-prescriptions, Fierce Healthcare noted. 

Surfside speaks to these issues in its complaint, which was filed in Northern Illinois District Court:

As a result of the ransomware attack experienced by Allscripts and as further described below, Plaintiff could not access its patients’ records or electronically prescribe medications, forcing Plaintiff to cancel appointments, thereby causing significant business interruption and disruption, and lost revenues. Additionally, Plaintiff has expended significant time and effort resolving these issues resulting from the breach, including communicating with patients to reschedule appointments.

Matthew Fisher, a partner with Mirick O’Connell, remarked in an email that it’s not common for providers to sue health IT vendors under these circumstances. If Surfside is successful with its suit against Allscripts, it could create potential liability for vendors.

“If vendors can be at risk for more liability, that will likely impact pricing since risk is not usually borne solely by one side,” Fisher said.

Photo: Mykola Velychko, Getty Images