Hospital seeks delay in security breach case

Published 06/01 2014 09:59PM

Updated 06/06 2014 10:11PM

Mug shot provided by Hamilton County, TN jail
Mug shot provided by Hamilton County, TN jail
A Dothan hospital targeted in a class action lawsuit alleging negligence in the theft of patient records is asking for two additional weeks to respond to the complaint filed in federal court. Meanwhile, the criminal case against the former employee accused of stealing the records has been referred to a grand jury.

Richard Smith of the firm Christian and Small LLP of Birmingham asked a judge to extend the deadline from June 5 to June 19 because the firm has only been recently retained to represent Flowers Hospital in the matter.

The hospital was apparently unaware the records had been stolen until Kamarian Millender was arrested in late February. A Henry County deputy said he found the records in Millender’s car that was parked alongside a road near Headland. Millender worked in the laboratory where tests are conducted for Flowers patients and medical clinics that contract with the hospital.

The data was allegedly sold for the purpose of filing fraudulent income tax returns to obtain refunds due victims. Flowers, in a letter obtained by DothanFirst, said the thefts could have been ongoing several months.

The case against Millender was sent to a Henry County a grand jury last week. The panel will decide if there is sufficient evidence to take the case to trial. Upon learning of the arrest Flowers terminated Millender according to the letter.

It’s not known how many people have been affected though attorney Adam Jones said it could be thousands. He filed the lawsuit May 5 on behalf of two clients who believe they could have adversely been affected but hopes to extend it to all victimized by the thefts.

A federal investigation is believed to be underway though that has not confirmed by the U.S. Justice Department. While there’s been no indication additional hospital employees were involved the investigation likely stretches to those who are believed to have been purchasing the information.

Flowers Hospital said it has strengthened security measures because of the breach.

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