Rehab Center Suffers a Password Nightmare

     SALT LAKE CITY (CN) — A residential rehab center claims in court that a fired officer created a nightmare by secretly authorizing herself to use its computer system under her maiden name, then directing clients and potential clients to her new business.
     Wasatch Recovery Treatment Center sued Pinnacle Recovery Center, Behavioral Addiction Network and Lorna Burr, on Tuesday in Salt Lake County Court.
     Burr worked for Wasatch from 2012 to 2015 as vice president of marketing and development. She was tasked, “among other things,” with maintaining documents with patients’ names and billing information, Wasatch says.
     Wasatch used nonparty Elevated Billing Solutions for billing and collections, using Google Docs. Wasatch says that when it fired Burr in April 2015, she removed her work email address from a list of authorized users.
     “Unbeknownst to Wasatch, however, at some point Burr apparently added her personal Gmail address, which uses Burr’s maiden name, Gailey. Because Wasatch was not aware that Burr had added a non-work email address unassociated with her name (Burr), Burr’s Gmail account was not removed as an authorized user.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Wasatch says that Pinnacle, its direct competitor, hired Burr in June 2015 as chief operating officer or executive director. It wasn’t until November 2015, Wasatch says, that it discovered the defendants were using used its passwords to promote Pinnacle and Burr’s business, Behavioral Addiction Network.
     “Specifically, defendants used Wasatch’s Google passwords to fraudulently link internet reviews of Wasatch to BAN’s [Behavioral Addiction Network] Google advertisement,” the lawsuit states. “Consequently, defendants purposefully mislead potential clients, who were searching for information on drug and alcohol abuse centers, into believing that positive reviews written about and for Wasatch were actually written about BAN and/or Pinnacle.”
     Wasatch claims that Burr “deliberately changed” Google Maps listings, so that a search for Wasatch’s facilities would direct users to Behavioral Addiction Network.
     “After some prospective clients alerted Wasatch of this problem, Wasatch contacted defendant Burr and asked her to fix the listings,” the complaint states. “Burr refused, but Wasatch was able to fix the listing after contacting Google. However, a few days later, Burr again changed the Google listings so that a search for ‘Wasatch Recovery’ directed clients and prospective clients to Pinnacle’s facility.”
     Burr also accessed and altered Wasatch’s confidential and protected health information on GoogleDocs, Wasatch says, through the Elevated Billing system. And it claims that the defendant companies, through Burr, accessed that system on “several” occasions.
     Burr changed one Wasatch document from “Wasatch Recovery 2014” to “Pinnacle Recovery 2016,” and shifted several sharing permissions for Wasatch and Elevated from “can edit” to “none,” according to the complaint.
     “Much of the information accessed by defendants is highly confidential and sensitive, and its use or disclosure could cause serious damage not only to Wasatch, but also to the patients whose names are in the Wasatch documents. Defendants’ conduct also constitutes a breach of HIPAA security requirements,” the lawsuit states.
     Burr also aimed to acquire hard copies of Wasatch’s proprietary documents and information through Wasatch’s employees, the company says: “As a direct consequence of defendants’ actions, Wasatch is suffering irreparable harm, and stands to lose business, confidential, proprietary and trade secret information, as well as the goodwill generated by Wasatch’s patient relationships.”
     Representatives for the dueling companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment via phone and email.
     Burr could not be reached immediately through a LinkedIn account.
     Wasatch Recovery seeks punitive damages for trademark violations, conversion and trespass.
     It is represent by Elaina Maragakis with Ray, Quinney and Nebeker.

%d bloggers like this: