Firm pushes back in class action against software maker
March 13, 2019 – The firm filed papers today in the federal district court in Boston opposing the efforts of Massachusetts-based eClinicalWorks to dismiss a class action brought against it by two plaintiffs on behalf of patients whose healthcare providers used ECW’s software and cloud-based services to maintain their medical records. In 2017, ECW agreed to pay $155 million to settle with the U.S. Department of Justice over claims that ECW defrauded the federal government by falsifying reporting designed to assure the accuracy and integrity of patient records maintained by ECW; in fact, said the government, ECW’s software was unable to satisfy certification criteria relating to the accuracy and reliability of patient records. Plaintiffs’ class action claims that by marketing and selling knowingly defective software to healthcare providers nationwide, ECW failed to secure and safeguard the medical records of patients and that, as a result, patients’ medical records have been compromised. Firm partner David Given leads a team of three law firms representing plaintiff and class patients in the case. A hearing on ECW’s motions is expected to be scheduled soon.
UPDATE – April 2, 2019 – In a short eight-page memorandum and order, federal district court judge Richard G. Stearns granted ECW’s motion and dismissed the clients’ case for lack of standing, finding that “an inability to rely on the accuracy of personal medical records is not a concrete injury, nor does it create an imminent risk of harm.” Because the dismissal was on that ground, however, the judgment entered by Judge Stearns operates without prejudice, meaning that another lawsuit may be brought in the right circumstance. In the meantime, the clients have appealed Judge Stearns’ ruling.