PHILADELPHIA – The case filed by an anonymous plaintiff against Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and its owners and operators, for allegedly disclosing his confidential HIV-positive status to both his family and members of the public has been transferred to a Perry County court.
On April 4, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge ordered that John Doe’s complaint would be transferred to the Perry County Court of Common Pleas, in response to the defendant filing a petition to transfer for reasons of forum non conveniens last Oct. 15. Younge granted the petition.
Doe filed an amended suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 19 versus Medicine Shoppe and Cardinal Health of Dublin, Ohio, Digital Pharmacist of Austin, Texas, Care Capital Management of Harrisburg, and CL Cressler of Mechanicsburg.
(Digital Pharmacist, Inc. was dismissed as a defendant on Sept. 13.)
“Long before March 3, 2018, plaintiff was diagnosed as HIV-positive and was prescribed medications from his doctor for his condition. Long before March 3, 2018 and at all times material, plaintiff kept his medical condition private and he did not tell his family or the public about his condition,” the suit claimed.
“At all times material, plaintiff had prescriptions for his HIV treatment medicine filled at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy at 48 Red Hill Court, Newport, Pennsylvania, 17074. At all times material, the pharmacy was and is owned, operated, supervised, managed, directed, franchised, and/or overseen by all defendants, and each of them individually. Plaintiff did not authorize the pharmacy to release any of his medical information to anyone and he kept his medical condition strictly private and confidential.”
The suit continues that on March 3, 2018, a member of plaintiff’s family was in the pharmacy, and a pharmacy employee disclosed the plaintiff’s confidential HIV-positive status to that family member and other members of the public who were present – none of whom were aware of his diagnosis prior to that time, constituting an unauthorized disclosure from an agency not then providing health care services to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff maintains that these disclosures caused damage to his physical and emotional well-being, and have damaged his reputation in the community, and have caused him to feel “shock, grief, rage, depression, shaking, hyperventilation, shortness of breath, nightmares, muscle tightening, sleeplessness, insomnia, nausea, loss of appetite, stress and anxiety, nervousness, profuse sweating, headaches, and restlessness.”
Through preliminary objections filed by counsel for Capital Care Management, Inc. and CL Cressler, Inc. on Sept. 17, they believe Philadelphia is an improper venue for this matter and the case should be transferred to the Perry County Court of Common Pleas, due to the alleged underlying events taking place in that jurisdiction, and the remainder of his claims being ones that are legally insufficient.
The plaintiff is represented by John J. Gagliano of Gagliano Law Offices, in Philadelphia.
The defendants are represented by M. Mitchell Oates and Carl W. Hittinger of Baker Hostetler in Philadelphia, plus Mary M. Labaree, Dawn Courtney Doherty and David P. Helwig of Marks O’Neill O’Brien Doherty & Kelly, in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180503176
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org