Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Software Firm, Upmc Sued over Data Breach Involving 27,000

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Software Firm, Upmc Sued over Data Breach Involving 27,000

Article excerpt

An attorney seeking to represent all of the victims of a breach of UPMC personnel data claimed Saturday that the damage from the compromise of personal information has yet to be calculated, and could continue to worsen. A company faulted in his lawsuit, meanwhile, suggested that it may not have any business relationship with UPMC, and hinted at a countersuit.

Attorney Benjamin Sweet and others from his North Shore firm, Carlson Lynch, plus attorneys at Downtown-based Kraemer, Manes & Associates, on Friday sued UPMC and Ultimate Software Group of Weston, Fla., over the loss of employee data and subsequent identity thefts. They seek class-action status in U.S. District Court, and would represent current and former UPMC employees who have been affected by the breach.

"We find it extremely troubling that when UPMC first confirmed the identity thefts in February, it claimed that only about 20 workers were affected," wrote Mr. Sweet, in response to questions from the Post-Gazette. "Now, UPMC has admitted that the personal and financial information of more than 27,000 workers has been compromised, and that at least 788 of those have already been the victims of tax fraud."

The lawsuit, filed Friday, claims that UPMC and human resources vendor Ultimate Software "violated federal guidelines and failed to meet current data security industry standards by failing to ensure adequate security" of employee personal and financial information. That amounts to negligence and breach of the implied contracts between UPMC entities and their employees, the lawsuit claims.

A UPMC spokeswoman declined comment. The hospital system has maintained that no patient information has been leaked, and that it is working with the IRS, Secret Service and FBI to determine the source of the breach.

Ultimate Software executive vice president Mitchell Dauerman said Saturday that his firm has not provided services to UPMC or its subsidiaries, and suspected that it has been wrongly implicated.

"UPMC is not a client of ours. We don't believe that any of its subsidiaries are clients of ours," he said. "If appropriate, we will assert our rights against those who may have falsely accused us. …

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