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Second lawsuit filed over theft of Advocate Medical Group computers

Advocate Medical Group is facing a second class-action lawsuit, alleging the health care group was negligent in protecting patients’ private data after computers were stolen from its offices.

In a burglary July 15, two men stole four computers from an Advocate building in the 200 block of West Touhy Avenue in Park Ridge that contained identifying information including names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

The computers also had limited clinical information, such as health insurance data, Advocate officials said. A total of 4.03 million patients were being notified of the burglary.

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital patients Heather Wanderski and Sharon Lewert filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday, the second such suit filed against Advocate in the past week. The women claim they would have gone to a different heath care provider if they had known about what they call Advocate’s “substandard security procedures.”

Northbrook resident Pierre Petrich and her daughter, a minor, filed a separate class-action suit last Thursday over the breach of patient data, according to a statement from their attorneys.

Wednesday’s lawsuit alleges the Downers Grove-based health group failed to live up to industry standards regarding sensitive information, and failed to use encryption and other basic security measures to safeguard patient data, the suit said.

The suit claims breach of contract, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

“We deeply regret any inconvenience this incident has caused our patients who have entrusted us with their care,” Advocate spokeswoman Kelly Jo Golson said in a statement, sent in response to last Thursday’s lawsuit.

“We are also committed to providing all individuals impacted by this incident with resources to answer their questions and tools to protect their personal information,” she said.

“Although we are unable to comment specifically on active litigation matters, we want to reassure our patients that we do not believe the data was targeted and we have no information that leads us to believe that the information has been misused,” Golson said in the statement.

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