Federal lawsuit against UPMC and Florida firm for data breach dropped

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A federal lawsuit against UPMC and a Florida-based personnel management firm, alleging that their negligence resulted in the compromise of tens of thousands of employees' personal data, was dismissed by the plaintiff today after attorneys determined that the accused vendor was not involved.

"Our ongoing investigation has concluded that Ultimate Software Group was misidentified in our filing of last week and we have decided to dismiss them as a party to the suit," said attorney Benjamin Sweet, in an email to the Post-Gazette. "Our case against UPMC for this significant data breach continues in Common Pleas Court."

Mr. Sweet and several other attorneys represent Alice Patrick, of McKeesport, a dialysis clinician at UPMC McKeesport.

She is among 788 known UPMC employees whose identity information was used by apparent data thieves to fraudulently obtain tax refunds. Ms. Patrick would have been the lead plaintiff in what the attorneys hoped would be a federal class-action lawsuit for more than $5 million in damages related to the breach.

The lawsuit was filed on Friday. On Saturday, Ultimate Software executive vice president Mitchell Dauerman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he did not believe his firm had any dealings with UPMC.

The withdrawal appears to confirm that.

The ongoing class action lawsuit in Common Pleas Court was filed in February against UPMC and UPMC McKeesport.

The unknown actors who accessed UPMC's system may have reviewed Social Security numbers and some other information on 27,000 employees.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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