In December 2018, a federal judge upheld the claims brought by Meyer Wilson attorneys and their co-counsel on behalf of HIV-positive Ohio residents who had their HIV status disclosed in a mailing sent on behalf of CVS.
In July 2017, CVS caused a mailing to be sent to thousands of Ohio residents who were participants in the Ohio HIV Drug Assistance Program, which provides vitally necessary HIV treatment medications for persons who cannot afford them. The envelope enclosing the mailing disclosed that it addressed “prescription benefits” and had the letters “HIV” directly above the recipient’s name and address.
In May 2018, Meyer Wilson attorneys and their co-counsel filed suit on behalf of one such Ohio resident who had his HIV status disclosed, along with a proposed class consisting of all other recipients of the mailing, alleging that CVS had violated such patients’ medical privacy. CVS sought to dismiss all of plaintiff’s claims, arguing that “HIV” was not medical information at all, but merely an “alphanumeric code.” Chief Judge Edmund Sargus of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio disagreed and ruled that the lawsuit will go forward.
Meyer Wilson attorneys look forward to a jury trial in which the class of persons affected by this event will receive some measure of justice. They hope that this case helps to ensure that CVS does not violate the medical privacy of vulnerable persons in this way again.