Paul Davis, who lost a tough election contest against Gov. Sam Brownback in November, is the lead attorney in a class-action lawsuit against one of the state’s KanCare companies over a cybersecurity breach in which personal health information was stolen.
Anthem, the nation’s second largest health insurance company, informed customers in February of a cyber attack in which as many as 80 million customers’ information was stolen. Anthem is the parent company of Amerigroup, one of the three companies that provides Medicaid services in Kansas under the KanCare umbrella.
The Lawrence law firm Fagan, Emert & Davis filed a class action suit against Amerigroup in Douglas County District Court earlier this month and is encouraging KanCare beneficiaries and other Amerigroup customers to join the suit.
Davis, the former minority leader of the Kansas House who lost to Brownback by 4 percentage points in the November election, will serve as the main attorney on the case in Kansas. The firm is pursuing a related suit in Missouri.
Never miss a local story.
The suit alleges that personal health information of nearly 4,000 Kansas patients “is now in the hands of thieves” as a result of the company’s failure to follow “basic security procedures.” Davis’ firm noted that more than 165,000 KanCare beneficiaries had their information put at risk.
“Any data breach is serious, but this one is particularly dangerous because of the type of data stolen,” Davis said in a release. “You can’t just change your birth date, your medical history, or your social security number like you can a credit card number. Millions of Americans are at serious risk of identity theft as a direct result of Anthem’s failure to take basic security precautions.”
Cindy Wakefield, spokeswoman for Anthem, said the company does not comment on pending litigation, but she commented on the security breach more generally.
“To date, in working with the FBI, we have found no evidence that the cyber attackers have shared or sold any of our members’ data and there is no evidence that fraud has occurred against our members, including fraudulent tax returns,” she said in an e-mail.
Wakefield said that current and former Amerigroup members should visit anthemfacts.com for information on how to obtain free identity protection services. She said that if any member is a victim of fraud, an investigator will work to restore the member’s credit and identity.
The suit seeks a sum to be determined by a jury.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which oversees the KanCare program, had no comment on the case.