January 30, 2024
A California federal judge on Monday refused to throw out a trimmed version of a lawsuit claiming that Meta Platforms Inc. illegally collected patients’ health information using a Facebook data tracking tool, ruling that their latest complaint has addressed some of his prior concerns.
U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick denied Meta’s motion to dismiss the suit, in particular rejecting Meta’s argument that the patients’ privacy claims are foreclosed at this stage in the litigation just because their communications with their healthcare providers may have been conducted via publicly available webpages.
“That fact is not irrelevant to the question of whether plaintiffs will ultimately be able to prove an invasion of privacy when considering the totality of the circumstances, but at this juncture and given that plaintiffs were communicating with their healthcare providers about their healthcare needs, plaintiffs have alleged enough for this claim to proceed to discovery,” Judge Orrick said.
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The healthcare plaintiffs are represented by Geoffrey Graber, Eric Kafka, and Claire Torchiana of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Jason “Jay” Barnes of Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC, Jeffrey A. Koncius of Kiesel Law LLP, Beth E. Terrell of Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC and Andre M. Mura of Gibbs Law Group LLP.