By Perry Cooper
Aetna Inc. wants a class notice provider to reimburse it for the $17 million it agreed to pay to a class of customers whose HIV statuses were disclosed in notices sent in windowed envelopes.
The insurer sued KCC Class Action Services LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Feb. 5, alleging KCC mishandled customers’ protected health information.
But KCC struck back Feb. 6. It sued Aetna in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging Aetna and law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP failed to protect the information.
KCC denies the allegations of privacy violations, calling them “demonstrably false.”
“KCC deeply empathizes with people affected by this incident and intends to respond to Aetna consistent with the rights and responsibilities related to this matter,” KCC general counsel Drake D. Foster told Bloomberg Law.
Aetna’s attorneys didn’t immediately respond to email requests for comment.
The $17 million deal, announced in court papers filed Jan. 16, will end a proposed class action challenging how Aetna handled protected health information. The deal must still be approved by a federal court.
The patients say Aetna disclosed the health status of 13,487 people without authorization to its attorneys and other parties in the course of settling individual lawsuits over health privacy.
Aetna exacerbated this error, the patients say, by sending benefit notices to nearly 12,000 patients in envelopes with transparent windows that allowed sensitive information—instructions on how to receive their HIV medication—to be visible on the outside of the envelope.
Aetna says in its complaint that KCC is responsible for the second error. It wants KCC to reimburse it for the full $17 million and compensate it for other costs it incurs related to the settlement.
But KCC says Aetna and Gibson Dunn were reckless with the customers’ information and never should have passed it along to KCC. They want Aetna to pay them for their services and absolve them of liability.
Elliott Greenleaf P.C. and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP represent Aetna.
Vedder Price LLP represents KCC.
The cases are Aetna Inc. v. Kurtzman Carson Consultants, LLC , E.D. Pa., No. 18-470, filed 2/5/18 ; and KCC Class Action Servs., LLC v. Aetna Inc. , C.D. Cal., No. 18-1018, filed 2/6/18 .
To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)