Jury awards woman whose ex-husband accessed medical records

Body: 

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A jury in South Dakota has awarded a woman $30,000 after finding her ex-husband, a doctor, accessed her medical records without her permission.

Jacqueline Krouse filed a lawsuit in 2015 against Dr. Chris Krouse alleging he repeatedly violating her privacy rights by accessing her medical information. Her ex-husband works at Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell, which was also named in the lawsuit.

“Avera takes seriously its obligation to secure its patients protected health information as required by the state and federal privacy laws and regulations,” Avera said in a statement to The Daily Republic Thursday afternoon. “Expansive computer systems and networks designed to allow the sharing of patient records in emergent and routine care situations are safeguarded and staff with access to protected health information receive frequent and thorough training regarding their obligations to maintain the confidentiality of protected health information.”

The Argus Leader says a jury in Minnehaha County found in favor of Jacqueline Krouse, but decided the hospital was not liable. Avera argued Dr. Krouse accessed the records using the log-in credentials of other employees in violation of its policies.

Krouse's attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to her ex-husband in March 2012. The lawsuit says he ignored the letter and accessed the records four more times after that.