A $4.4 million settlement will end a CVS class action lawsuit filed over envelope windows that inadvertently revealed the HIV status of Ohio residents.
Class Members include those who received a letter in an envelope from the Ohio Department of Health that had a transparent window that disclosed the recipients’ HIV status in August 2017.
The Ohio CVS HIV status class action lawsuit was filed after those participating in the state’s drug assistance program for HIV patients received letters in envelopes with panes that showed their name, address and a billing code that revealed their HIV status to anyone who looked at the front of the envelope.
The plaintiffs accused Caremark, the parent company of CVS, and Fiserv of revealing sensitive health information — a violation of federal privacy law.
According to the class action lawsuit, Ohio has a program for those who need assistance with the cost of drugs. To apply for the program, participants must indicate and provide documentation of their HIV status.
The plaintiffs say that the state made such a request for documentation of those participating in the Ohio drug assistance program in February 2017. The state selected CVS as the pharmacy that would provide the drug benefits.
The Ohio CVS HIV status class action lawsuit alleges that when the pharmacy and Fiserv sent out the letters to HIV-positive program participants, they neglected to consider whether highly sensitive health information would be visible on the physical mailing. As a result, the billing code “PM 6402 HIV” was visible through one of the windows on the front of the envelope.
The plaintiffs alleged that they and others who are HIV positive are subject to discrimination if their status is known. CVS and Fiserv’s disregard for the disclosure of this information on the front of an envelope subjected Class Members to additional discrimination, alleged the complaint, especially those that live in small communities.
The pharmacy and Fiserv did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay $4.35 million as a part of the Ohio CVS HIV status class action settlement. In addition, the companies have promised to improve their policies to further protect the sensitive health information of patients.
Under the terms of the Ohio CVS HIV status class action settlement, the companies have agreed to pay each Class Member $400 at a minimum. Class Members can also claim up to $10,000 for financial injuries and up to $2,500 for non-financial injuries they suffered as a result of the disclosure of their HIV status.
Financial injuries include any out-of-pocket costs related to the Ohio CVS HIV status mailing, including moving or counseling costs. Non-financial injuries can be described using the questions on the Claim Form and include whether someone else received the mailing, how many people saw the mailing, and if the Class Member experienced any discrimination because their HIV status was disclosed in the mailing.
Each Class Member will receive $400 automatically. A Claim Form and proof must be submitted for financial injuries, including receipts, invoices, or bank statements. Non-financial injuries will be determined using the Class Member’s responses on the Claim Form.
The deadline to submit a Claim Form, as well as to opt out of or object to the Ohio CVS HIV status class action settlement, is Dec. 20, 2019.
Class Members include “people whose Protected Health Information (‘PHI’) is alleged to have been disclosed improperly by Caremark and Fiserv (i.e., the Defendants), through mailings that were mailed, provided, or sent for delivery in August 2017 as part of Caremark’s administration of OhDAP.”
According to the settlement website, “[t]he envelopes of these mailings had two clear glassine windows. One, in the upper left, contained the logo of ‘CVS/Caremark,’ the words ‘Ohio Department of Health,’ and an address for the Ohio Department of Health. A second window contained the recipient’s name and address.”
Up to $12,900.
- All Class Members will automatically receive $400
- Class Members can claim up to $10,000 in financial injuries
- Class Members can claim up to $2,500 in non-financial injuries
Proof of Purchase
None required for the $400 base claim.
Class Members must provide documentation of financial injuries, including receipts, invoices, or bank statements.
Non-financial injuries will be evaluated using the Class Member’s responses on the Claim Form.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
Doe One, et al. v. CVS Health Corp., et al., Case No. 2:18-cv-00238, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
UPDATE: The Ohio CVS HIV Status Class Action Settlement was granted final approval on January 30, 2020. Let Top Class Actions know when you receive a check in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
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