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[W]e remand the matter as we find that her petition has sufficiently stated a cause of action for invasion of privacy pursuant to Article 1, § 5 of the Louisiana Constitution.EXTERNAL LINK
Fox, a communications officer for Alexandria, filed the instant suit after her request for refinancing was delayed or denied based on information supplied by Alexandria to the mortgage company, Louisiana Mortgage Lenders. As part of its mortgage application, Louisiana Mortgage required information pertaining to the vacation and compensation time owed to Fox through her employment.
Fox authorized Alexandria to release this information. In doing so, Mary Moore, an accountant with Alexandria, told Louisiana Mortgage that Fox was on sick leave, she had been on extended sick leave, she had undergone eye surgery, and that she did not think that Fox intended to return to work.
Thereafter, Louisiana Mortgage refused or delayed Fox’s mortgage application. In her petition, Fox claimed that Moore violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 42 U.S.C. 1301, et seq., by disclosing any information other than that pertaining to her compensation and vacation time. She further sought damages for mental anguish and for all monetary damages she suffered as a result of her failure or delay in obtaining refinancing. Alexandria answered and then filed a peremptory exception of no cause of action in which it argued that Fox had no cause of action against it under either the Social Security Act or HIPAA. Following a hearing, the trial court granted Alexandria’s exception.
This appeal by Fox followed.
After reviewing the petition, we find that Fox is entitled to continue with her suit. Although she has failed to state a cause of action pursuant to HIPAA, her petition reveals that she has stated facts sufficient to plead a cause of action for invasion of privacy pursuant to Louisiana Constitution, Article 1, § 5. See Taylor v. Hixson Autoplex of Alexandria, Inc., 00-1096 (La.App. 3 Cir. 3/28/01), 781 So.2d 1282, writ not considered, 01-1539 (La. 9/14/01), 796 So.2d 670.
Accepting the facts pleaded as true and in a light most favorable to Fox, her petition states that Moore, through her employment with Alexandria, released private information pertaining to Fox which caused her to suffer general and monetary damages.
Article 1, § 5 provides, “Every person shall be secure in his person, property, communications, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches, seizures, or invasions of privacy.”
Accordingly, we remand this matter to the trial court for further proceedings on Fox’s claim that she suffered an invasion of privacy as a result of Alexandria’s release of information concerning her potential work status.
Posted by wst... at 10:58