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$11 million suit filed against Medicentres

Clint DockenCALGARY – Hundreds of Albertans have registered for a class-action law suit concerning a missing laptop that contained the personal and health information of 620,000 persons.

The Calgary Herald reported that well-known class-action lawyer Clint Docken (pictured) of Docken & Co. expects those numbers to rise in the days ahead. A statement of claim was filed against Medicentres Canada in an Edmonton courtroom.

“This is a pretty significant problem, when you’ve got 620,000 Albertans who are potentially subject to identity theft,” said Docken. “We’ve got names and addresses and contact information and healthcare numbers and diagnostic codes out there. That’s pretty frightening.”

In late September, an unencrypted laptop of an IT consultant for Medicentres Canada went missing. The laptop held a database of personal information for 620,000 patients who visited Medicentre clinics in Edmonton and Calgary between May 2011 and Sept. 2013.

Edmonton resident Charmaine L’Hirondelle is the representative plaintiff of the statement of claim, filed on Jan. 28, which alleges a breach of information could result in identity theft, land titles and mortgage fraud, and break and entry.

Docken & Co is working together with Edmonton law firm James H. Brown & Associates on the lawsuit. The statement of claim says the plaintiff and other class members are seeking $11 million for credit damage, mental distress, increased risk of future identity theft, and time and costs associated with preventing identity theft.

Docken said paying for future credit monitoring alone could cost affected individuals $300 per year.

“Multiply $300 by 620,000 and it gives you a sense of the value of the claim,” he said. “Let alone all the other issues associated with the potential release of all this personal information.”

None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proved in court, and the claim has yet to be certified.

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