HCMC staff accused of violating HIPAA, accessing George Floyd's medical records

Floyd family attorney says they are considering a lawsuit after the county sent a letter notifying of "multiple breaches by a number of people."

HCMC
HCMC staff have been fired for HIPAA violations after viewing George Floyd's protected medical records without authorization, according to a KARE 11 investigation.
Tim Nelson | MPR News 2013

By A.J. Lagoe and Brandon Stahl, KARE 11

HCMC staff have been fired for HIPAA violations after viewing George Floyd's protected medical records without authorization, KARE 11 has learned.

"There were multiple breaches by multiple people," Floyd family attorney Antonio Romanucci told KARE 11. 

Romanucci said the information was disclosed in a letter sent to the family, informing them that the improper access into Floyd's medical and personal records happened sometime in the last 30 days. 

The Hennepin County-run HCMC said in the letter that the people involved, "no longer work at the organization." 

But the letter provided few other details, Romanucci said, including how many staff members were involved, their roles at the hospital, and what was specifically accessed. 

Romanucci said the family is considering legal action against HCMC.

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"They feel it's a continued assassination of George Floyd, his character. It's a non-stop issue. And they were very upset, very disturbed, disappointed that even in death, that George Floyd's character is being maligned by people that didn't have any business looking at his private medical record."

A spokesperson for Hennepin Healthcare, Christine Hill, said in a statement that the hospital does not comment on specific cases to protect patient confidentiality. 

"Any breach of patient confidentiality is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. If it is determined that a violation has occurred, disciplinary action up to and including termination can be used," she said.

A spokesperson for the Minnesota Nurses Association said it was not immediately known if any of the union’s members were involved. 

This is a developing story.