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Ruling: US privacy law doesn't block lawsuits in state court

Posted at 10:18 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 01:18:10-04

PHOENIX (AP) - A court ruling says a federal health care privacy law doesn't block people from suing in Arizona state courts over improper disclosures of confidential information by care providers.

The state Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday narrows but revives a man's lawsuit against Costco for its disclosure to the man's ex-wife of an erectile dysfunction drug prescription that the man didn't want and had tried to cancel.

A trial judge dismissed the man's lawsuit making various claims but the Court of Appeals said the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 didn't block the man from suing Costco in state court over alleged negligence.

The appeals court also held that the federal law's privacy protections can help set a standard of care for negligence suits filed in Arizona courts.