Slack & Davis attorney Paula Knippa was selected to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Community Health Systems data breach litigation, a consolidated class action pending in the Northern District of Alabama before District Judge Karon O. Bowdre against Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHS”), which owns and operates 206 hospitals in 29 states throughout the country. The action alleges that CHS failed to implement and follow basic cybersecurity procedures, rendering patients’ sensitive information, including their names, addresses, credit card numbers and social security numbers, accessible to hackers and financial predators such as identity thieves.
Co-lead counsel Karen Riebel and Jeff Friedman appointed Ms. Knippa to the Committee, where, in addition to assisting lead counsel in determining the course of the litigation, she will spearhead, together with James Terrell with the Alabama law firm of McCallum, Methvin & Terrell, P.C., the legal research necessary to prosecute and prevail in the lawsuit against CHS.
Ms. Knippa noted that “One of the biggest obstacles to overcome in this lawsuit is the perception by some courts that just because your personal information has been stolen, doesn’t mean that you actually have an injury. But we shouldn’t require consumers to wait until the worst has happened—that is, their identities have been stolen or their credit has been compromised—before they can hold those responsible accountable for exposing them to what is an unacceptable risk of harm. Right now, my priority is to ensure that the court understands that the harm to our clients as a result of CHS’s negligence is both real and immediate and that they are entitled to compensation for and protection from that harm.”