Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you today.
I am very sorry to learn of this traumatic experience. I want to advise you that while your case is sympathetic, you do have a difficult case to prove. I will go through the potential causes of action and the potential remedies and recovery that you may receive, but I would advise you to speak with local counsel to determine the risks of going forward (a suit will recover further disclosure of this medical information), as well as the costs, against the potential recovery (both injunctions against further discovery by the medical professionals, and money recovery for their wrongdoing.
The first issue that comes to mind is that this appears to be a violation of HIPPA. HIPPA provides for regulatory violations and penalties against the healthcare providers, but it does not provide for a "private right of action" meaning that you cannot sue under HIPPA (there are other actions, I am going to discuss below).
The first cause of action is for "Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress" and the related action "Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress" these two torts were initially restricted to very specific and very limited situations where the Plaintiff was in close proximity to very traumatic situations such as the gruesome death of a loved one. Now the tort is expanding, and some plaintiffs in certain states have successfully sued based on specific facts for things such as the disclosure of private information in ways such as what you are describing. This is a fact specific analysis, and the reason I bring up the early origins of the tort is that this still has a high standard. You may be able to bring a successful suit, but the standard is high.
The second is for strict negligence. This is a far more direct tort, the professionals owed a duty to maintain the files, they failed to maintain the files ("fell below the standard of care") and caused you harm. The harm being emotional may require a showing that you suffered some physical symptoms or at least required some mental or psychological counseling of some sort.
(You do not need to disclose the actual facts they were discussing, I cannot provide you with a case specific analysis in any event - we cannot provide that type of legal analysis, I can provide you with general legal information and standards for you to work with in deciding how you wish to proceed, a local attorney can review your facts and give you a legal analysis of your case as well as specific legal instruction and strategy).
You can also use a tort of "the duty of confidentiality" while this is a little far afield, and may not be recognized as an actual cause of action, it may be useful in at least getting the matter recognized in court.
To locate an attorney, you can find one through the Tennessee Bar Association: http://www.tba.org/info/find-an-attorney ; Martindale Hubble; and AVVO You can also try to locate your local Bar Association, do a web search for "YOUR COUNTY" Bar Association, most have an attorney directory, or a lawyer referral. You are looking for a personal injury attorney, or a "Trial Attorney"
You are welcome. I do wish you the very best in moving forward with this matter.
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