We are representing a group of victims who are claiming compensation as a victim of the 56 Dean Street Clinic leak where an email was sent to almost 800 people for HIV services without the emails / names of recipients obscured.
Whilst the media often used the term “human error” we do not see it this way at all. As a data controller, the clinic / Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust should never have allowed a situation to arise where this could happen. Systems should have been in place to ensure that any emails distributed to a group would be appropriately anonymised.
This isn’t the first leak of its kind and our action is aimed to ensure fair compensation for those affected, and to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
Six months on from the initiation of our action, we would like to update anyone considering joining the action with a little bit of an insight in to where we are with things.
We’re acting for a number of individuals who are obviously concerned about what has happened and are worried that their information may go (or may have already gone) beyond the list of recipients. People are very worried, and we understand why.
The manager of our team dealing leading the fight for justice has the following to say:
‘I am pleased to announce that the Chelsea and Westminster Trust has now accepted legal responsibility for the data leak which occurred at their 56 Dean Street Clinic and are now looking to negotiate a settlement of qualifying Claimants.’
We were never in any doubt as to whether or not they would accept responsibility, and whilst we are fully aware that they had already accepted what had happened within the public domain, there is typically the requirement for a Defendant in a case to accept formal legal liability for an action. The admission of liability is of course a positive step toward justice for those affected, and we continue to take new cases forward as well as fight for those who have instructed us from the beginning.
If you would like to discuss if we can help you as a victim of the leak, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 0800 634 75 75. If you would like a call back at a specific time that is convenient for you, please fill in a contact form and we can provide you with free, no obligation, confidential advice about your options.
There are always time limits to claim, and one such time limit falls on the first anniversary of a situation arising – which in this case is due to fall in the September 2016 period. As such, the window of opportunity for those to join the action may be limited, and we would ask that you contact us soon if you do wish to claim given that we are already halfway in to one of the deadlines.
As we advise our clients, our fight for justice is to ensure that victims of what is a serious and harrowing data leak are fairly compensated. We have represented victims for similar cases in the past, and our take on the situation is that we are calling for greater responsibility of organisations as data controllers to use widely available systems to prevent such leaks from happening.
A person should never be put in a position where they could inadvertently contribute towards such a serious leak, and we consider the employee who sent the email as a victim as well. In today’s digital age, data controllers have the means necessary to protect confidential data, and all data controllers should utilise it; especially where information that is being exchanged is of a sensitive nature like we have here in the 56 Dean Street Clinic leak.
As cloud based technology grows we’ve no doubt that protection will only ever improve as we go forward, but the risks grow greater when such systems are not used. It’s so easy to leak information in today’s digital age, and we hope that the use of technology will prevent such incidents from occurring again in the future.
We’ll try to keep you informed of any other general updates again in the future.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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