Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

All but 2 complaints dismissed in stolen Tricare data case

May. 13, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

A federal judge has tossed out most of the lawsuits filed against the Defense Department over the theft of personal data belonging to 4.9 million Tricare beneficiaries.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed all but two complaints in a consolidated lawsuit, saying the loss of data, without evidence that it was viewed or misused, “does not constitute an injury sufficient to confer standing.”

The suits, which sought damages of totaling $4.9 billion, were filed shortly after several data drives were stolen from a car belonging to a Science Applications International Corp., employee in September 2011.

The contractor was responsible for transporting them to a storage facility when they were stolen.

The theft is the largest loss of personal health care information since the Health and Human Services Department began publicly posting health data breaches affecting more than 500 people.

Boasberg said that in the three years since the theft, there has been little evidence that the information — some of it encrypted — was misused.

“Either the malefactors are extraordinarily patient or no mining of the tapes has occurred,” Boasberg wrote in his May 9 decision.

Although he ruled that two plaintiffs demonstrated enough evidence they had been victims of identify theft and could continue their suits, he raised the possibility that their information was compromised in other breaches and said the remaining plaintiffs did not have the grounds to sue.

After the theft, Tricare Management Activity and SAIC officials estimated that the risk of the data being used for criminal intent was low because the thief needed to possess an in-depth understanding of SAIC’s hardware and software, as well as knowledge of data interpretation.

Boasberg said that the nature of the theft left him convinced the perpetrator was incapable of accessing the information on the tapes.

“The theft from the SAIC employees car was a low-tech, garden variety one. Any inference to the contrary is undermined by the snatching of the GPS and car stereo [which also were taken]. This is hardly a black-ops caper,” Boasberg wrote.

The tapes contained names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other information for patients in 10 states who were seen at military treatment facilities in San Antonio from 1992 to Sept. 7, 2011, and those who filled prescriptions or had lab tests processed at San Antonio-area military health facilities during the same period.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

Get ready to rock A&S
MARSOC uses applicants' feedback to redesign workout prep program

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook