Home Care Agency Claims Rival Stole Data, Spread Rumors
Allegations of stolen health records and their use to solicit customers to a new business are the basis of a seemingly ‘he-said-she-said’ lawsuit filed last week by home care agency Angels in Your Home.
The suit, filed against former Angels employees and All American Home Care, seeks damages for actions ranging from breaches of fiduciary duties to unfair competition. More specifically, the lawsuit aims to block All American from using any protected information allegedly taken from Angels; contacting current or potential Angels clients; and engaging in “further acts of unfair competition,” the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Central to the allegations is the Consumer Direct Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), which allows people to hire their own care providers as an alternative to skilled nursing facilities. These home care services are reimbursed by Medicaid, and both agencies are authorized by New York to provide nursing, personal care, housekeeping and other health and social services to clients.
The lawsuit came after advocacy group Center for Disability Rights disclosed that its clients had reported a possible breach of personal data. It names former Angels CEO Marco Altieri, along with seven other past employees: Jean Pierre Garvey, former human resources manager; Jaidy Rosario-Delgado, former human resources worker; Daniela Rosario-Delgado, Sean O’Brien and Molly Slifer, former employees and support specialists of the CDPAP; Elisa Heckathorn, former employee and director of CDPAP; and Beyri Payamps-Delgado, former finance coordinator. Glidedowan LLC, doing business as All American, is also named in the suit.
“There is no truth to any of these allegations whatsoever,” Michael Smith, attorney for Altieri and All American, told the Democrat & Chronicle. “Nothing happened as alleged. No one stole, copied, misappropriated, did anything with any patient files and everyone that left, left voluntarily and with their hands in their pockets. Nobody stole a thing.”
Smith argued that Angels’ goal with the lawsuit is to disrupt its competition. Attorneys for Angels didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment on the case.
On Oct. 13, Altieri submitted his immediate resignation via email, according to the complaint. He and the other workers named in the lawsuit are now employed with All American.
The lawsuit goes on to allege the removal of physical files and the coping of all employee files. It also claims that defendants used personal and confidential information in these files to drive business from Angels to All American. Records show that since Oct. 1, nine Angels customers have requested to have their records transferred to All American.
Written by Kourtney Liepelt