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Survivor May Have Stated Individual Outrage Claim Based on Hospital Employees’ Improperly Accessing Decedent’s Medical Records


The plaintiff, individually and as the administratrix of the decedent’s estate, filed claims of invasion of privacy and outrage against the hospital, a doctor, and two other hospital employees alleging that the three individuals had each accessed the medical records of the decedent with no legitimate reason and the hospital took no action to restrict such access to its electronic database system. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment arguing that the claims did not survive the death of the decedent. The district court granted the motions. The plaintiff appealed.

 

The Supreme Court of Arkansas affirmed the trial court with regard to the invasion of privacy claim and reversed with regard to the outrage claim and remanded. Arkansas’s survival statute does not provide for the claim of invasion of privacy to survive the death of the decedent. However, the court held that the outrage claim, though based on the same conduct as the invasion of privacy claim, was not made on behalf of the decedent, but on behalf of the administratrix. The Supreme Court remanded to the trial court to determine whether sufficient facts existed to state a cause of action for outrage.

 

See: Cannady v. St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, 2012 Ark. 369, 2012 WL 4712205 (Ark., October 4, 2012).

 

 

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