School shooter’s family sues hospital for record breach

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The family of the Roswell school shooter is taking on the hospital where the boy was sent for a mental health evaluation claiming staff violated federal healthcare privacy laws. The lawsuit was filed this week in district court by the parents of shooter Mason Campbell, 13.

In January, Campbell opened fire inside the Berrendo Middle School gym. Students Kendal Sanders and Nathaniel Tavarez were hit. Both were left with permanent injuries and had to undergo several surgeries.

Campbell was sent to an Albuquerque psychiatric hospital, which is tied to University of New Mexico Hospital, for a mental health evaluation.

The recently filed lawsuit claims the health and mental records of Campbell were seen by people who should have never had access to them.

The basis of the lawsuit is a letter sent to the parents of Campbell by the hospital’s CEO.

The letter read in part:

“After a thorough review, we determined by February 14, 2014, that eight (8)
workforce members did not have a legitimate medical or business purpose to
access your son’s electronic health record that is the record for his health care
treatment information. The review showed unauthorized access occurred on
January 15 to 19, 2014 and January 29, 2014. There was no access to any
financial or other information. Although we do not believe that the accessed
information has been used in any way, we wanted to confirm to you the
determination that the access was not authorized. We have taken appropriate
corrective action, up to and including suspension or termination of these
workforce members.”

While the letter stated hospital officials did not believe that the information was used in any way, the lawsuit alleges that there is belief those who illegally-obtained Campbell’s records intended to publicize or pass them around. The lawsuit is claiming HIPAA violations.

However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. The letter never made mention as to who the eight people were, including their specific jobs, why they sought the information and how it happened. Hospital officials did inform the Campbells that the eight were disciplined, to include suspensions and firings.

The lawsuit states that UNM Hospital failed to encrypt Campbell’s medical records, failed to properly train and supervise its employees or hospital representatives. How much UNM Hospital may have to pay the Campbell’s will be determined in trial.

UNM Hospital officials did not comment on the lawsuit.

Campbell was sentenced in July. He’ll remain in the custody of the Children, Youth and Families Department until he’s 21.

Read the Campbell’s complaint and the letter UNMH sent to the Campbells below.

KRQE.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s