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Smile Brands, Sahawneh Dental Exposure of Patient PII and PHI Class Action

Smile Brands, Inc. is a large dental service organization, and Sahawneh Dental Corporation is one of Smile’s many affiliates. Smile provides business support services for dental offices like Sahawneh. In their respective roles, Smile and Sahawneh collect and maintain patients’ personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). These two companies are the defendants in this data breach class action, which alleges that they did not implement and maintain adequate security practices to protect patients’ PII and PHI.

The class for this action is all individuals whose PII or PHI was compromised in the data breach announced by Smile and Sahawneh in their Notice of Data Breach letter.

On April 24, 2021, the complaint alleges, the companies discovered a ransomware attack which had gained access to their systems. The information accessed included names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, personal financial information, government-issued ID numbers, and/or personal health information.

Unfortunately, the complaint alleges that the companies did not notify the victims whose information was exposed until months afterward, on or about September 28, 2021.

The complaint alleges that the data breach was caused by the companies’ “failure to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the personal information it collected, maintained, and stored…”

The complaint quotes a former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner as saying, “Most consumers cannot begin to comprehend the types and amount of information collected by businesses, or why their information may be commercially valuable. Data is currency. The larger the data set, the greater potential for analysis—and profit.”

The information is also more directly valuable to criminals. The complaint alleges that “identity thieves and cyber criminals openly post credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, PII and other sensitive information directly on various illicit Internet websites making the information publicly available for other criminals to take and use.” The information from multiple data breaches “can be aggregated and become more valuable to thieves and more damaging to victims.”

According to the complaint, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported “that identity thieves use PII to take over existing financial accounts, open new financial accounts, receive government benefits and incur charges and credit a person’s name.”

The complaint faults the companies for their handling of the data breach, claiming, “Defendants Notice of the Data Breach letter … is inadequate and fails to provide sufficient detail.” Also, it says, “Defendants’ offer of a one (1) year subscription to the Experian Identity Works identity theft protection program is insufficient where [the victims] are now at increased risk of identity theft for years to come as a result of the Data Breach.”

“Defendants negligently left their computer systems open to attack[,]” the complaint alleges.

Among the causes of action are violations of the California Consumer Privacy Act and California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Smile Brands, Sahawneh Dental Exposure of Patient PII and PHI Complaint

December 23, 2021

Smile Brands, Inc. is a large dental service organization, and Sahawneh Dental Corporation is one of Smile’s many affiliates. Smile provides business support services for dental offices like Sahawneh. In their respective roles, Smile and Sahawneh collect and maintain patients’ personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). These two companies are the defendants in this data breach class action, which alleges that they did not implement and maintain adequate security practices to protect patients’ PII and PHI.

Smile Brands, Sahawneh Dental Exposure of Patient PII and PHI Complaint

Case Event History

Smile Brands, Sahawneh Dental Exposure of Patient PII and PHI Complaint

December 23, 2021

Smile Brands, Inc. is a large dental service organization, and Sahawneh Dental Corporation is one of Smile’s many affiliates. Smile provides business support services for dental offices like Sahawneh. In their respective roles, Smile and Sahawneh collect and maintain patients’ personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). These two companies are the defendants in this data breach class action, which alleges that they did not implement and maintain adequate security practices to protect patients’ PII and PHI.

Smile Brands, Sahawneh Dental Exposure of Patient PII and PHI Complaint
Tags: Exposing Private Information, Exposure to cyber crime, Your Privacy