Skip to comments.IRS sued for seizing 60 million medical records
Posted on 05/19/2013 1:07:07 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie
A healthcare provider has sued the Internal Revenue Service and 15 of its agents, charging they wrongfully seized 60 million medical records from 10 million Americans.
The name of the provider is not yet known, United Press International said. But Courthouse News Service said the suit claims the agency violated the Fourth Amendment in 2011, when agents executed a search warrant for financial data on one employee and that led to the seizure of information on 10 million, including state judges.
The search warrant did not specify that the IRS could take medical information, UPI said. And information technology officials warned the IRS about the potential to violate medical privacy laws before agents executed the warrant, the complaint said, as reported by UPI.
Despite knowing that these medical records were not within the scope of the warrant, defendants threatened to rip the servers containing the medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over, the complaint states, UPI reported.
IRS agents also seized workers phones and telephone data more violations of the warrant, (according to the suit) UPI reported.
The complaint alleges the IRS was invasive and unlawful and stole access to intimate medical records that included patients treatment plans and therapies, UPI said.
The suit seeks $25,000 in compensatory damages, per violation. The records seizure could impact up to one in 25 Americans, UPI said.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
I remember Miller testified that the IRS wouldn’t have access to your medical information.
IRS of late has been behaving like the GESTAPO and the SS.
I would like to see the names for the 15 agents.
This was posted a couple of days ago. It is in California. The most likely HC provider would be Kaiser Permanente.
Plaintiff unknown? Complaint has no caption?
It’s OK! ‘Cause ‘Papa’ Barack has everyone’s best interest at heart.
They always lie when they are busted!
Eliminate the out of control IRS NOW! It isn’t going to get any better, that is for sure!
I suppose it goes without saying that the people who had their privacy invaded will not be the ones seeing any "compensatory damages".
If this had been a normal company, the CEO would be in jail.
expect a visit from the BATF, the DEA the FBI and the IRS. We are becoming Nazi Germany
True but shockingly imprecise. These were stolen from a CA health provider, health insurance doesn't go across state lines, CA has about 33M residents, and it's a fair bet that at least 5M of those don't have health insurance. So "1 in 25 Americans" is more like "1 in 3 Californians who have health insurance".
SAN DIEGO (CN) - A lurid but vague class action accuses corrupt and abusive IRS agents of stealing 10 million people’s medical records without a warrant - including “intimate medical records of every state judge in California.”
John Doe Company sued 15 John Doe IRS agents in Superior Court.
”This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service (’IRS’) agents (collectively referred to as ‘defendants’ herein) during a raid of John Doe Company, in the Southern District of California, on March 11, 2011,” the complaint states. “In a case involving solely a tax matter involving a former employee of the company, these agents stole more than 60,000,000 medical records of more than 10,000,000 Americans, including at least 1,000,000 Californians.
”No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA [sic: recte HIPAA] facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records. The IRS agents ignored and discarded each of these warnings, ignored their own published and public-reliant rules and governing ethical requirements, and ignored the limitations of the court’s search warrant authorization, seizing the records under threat of destroying company property.”
Plaintiff’s attorney Robert E. Barnes declined to elaborate on the complaint’s allegations, saying he will have more information “in a few months.”
”I had to file to protect against the statute of limitations being an issue, but am still investigating all facts,” Barnes told Courthouse News in an email.
The putative class claims the IRS agents’ seizure of medical records violated the 4th Amendment.
”These medical records contained intimate and private information of more than 10,000,000 Americans, information that by its nature includes information about treatment for any kind of medical concern, including psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual or drug treatment, and a wide range of medical matters covering the most intimate and private of concerns,” the complaint states.
”Despite knowing that these medical records were not within the scope of the warrant, defendants threatened to ‘rip’ the servers containing the medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over. Moreover, even though defendants knew that the records they were seizing were not included within the scope of the search warrant, the defendants nonetheless searched and seized the records without making any attempt to segregate the files from those that could possibly be related to the search warrant. In fact, no effort was made at all to even try maintaining the illusion of legitimacy and legality.
”After being put on notice of the illicit seizure, the IRS agents refused to return the records, continued to keep the records for the prying eyes of IRS peeping toms, and keep the records to this very day. The records may concern the intimate medical records of every state judge in California, every state court employee in California, leading and politically controversial members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild, and prominent citizens in the world of entertainment, business and government, from all walks of life.”
To top it off, the IRS agents were rude, childish and arrogant, the complaint states:
”Adding insult to injury, after unlawfully seizing the records and searching their intimate parts, defendants decided to use John Doe Company’s media system to watch basketball, ordering pizza and Coca-Cola, to take in part of the NCAA tournament, illustrating their complete disregard of the court’s order and the Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights.
”This complaint seeks justice for each and all of those individuals subjected to the invasive and unlawful search and seizure conducted on March 11, 2011.”
The complaint adds: “The search warrant authorized the seizure of financial records related principally to a former employee of the company; it did not authorize any seizure of any health care or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter.
”While executing the warrant, the defendants seized personal mobile phones, including all the data and information on those phones, without any employing the proper and procedurally correct screening methods to protect private and privileged information, all of which was completely unapproved by the search warrant.”
Whoops, it is indeed somehow all across the country. The complaint also lists “Major League Baseball” and “the Screen Actors Guild” as part of the class action.
The healthcare provider is not named — “John Doe”, but they are based in San Diego. Kaiser Permanente is based in Oakland, FWIW.
Oops forgot the link which has the link to the lawsuit itself: