TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

IN: Insurer Posts List of STD Tests in Online Portal; Privacy and IIED Claims Dismissed

While attempting to reconcile with her husband, wife is tested for STDs.  The insurer posts the list of diseases for which wife was tested in an online portal that is accessed by her husband as the primary policyholder.  Husband ceases reconciliation efforts and proceeds with a divorce.  Wife sues insurer for disclosure of private facts, intrusion upon seclusion, and IIED (also called outrage in Indiana).  A divided Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the disclosure claim because Indiana does not recognize disclosure claims, and dismissed the intrusion claim because Indiana does not recognize intrusion claims that only invade a person's emotional solace.  Regarding outrage, the court dismissed it, as well, because posting the list of tested diseases in the online portal was not extreme and outrageous:

“This is not conduct which is utterly intolerable in a civilized community but, rather, routine in today’s technologically-driven society,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote for the divided panel, with Judge Elaine Brown concurring. “Health insurance companies maintain web portals to allow policyholders instant access to their personal medical information, insurance claims, etc., and the current matter is no exception.”

The Indiana Lawyer has the story.

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