Medical center sues former COO for stealing information

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Feb. 6, 2012, 5:47am

Baylor Medical Center at Frisco

SHERMAN - After its chief operating officer quit for a job with a competitor, Baylor Medical Center at Frisco has filed a lawsuit against the former employee for misappropriation of protected health information, confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets.

Frisco Medical Center, doing business as Baylor Medical Center at Frisco, has filed a lawsuit against Cynthia A. Bledsoe, Michael R. Bledsoe, Forest Park Medical Center and Forest Park Medical Center at Frisco on Jan. 23 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

According to the complaint, Cindy Bledsoe worked for Baylor Frisco in various positions from 2002 until November. In September, she was promoted from senior vice president of operations to chief operating officer.

Bledsoe gave her resignation to Baylor Frisco on Nov. 1, three weeks after she decided to accept employment at Forest Park.

Mike Bledsoe was employed by Baylor Frisco for approximately nine years, with his last position as information systems administrator. He resigned from his position on Dec. 13.

The Medical Center states that upon receiving the resignations, it retained IT Security Investigations to conduct forensic investigations of their computer equipment. The investigation allegedly revealed that the former employees had used "cloud" storage to enable users to store and share files with others across the Internet.

The Medical Center claims Cindy Bledsoe had uploaded numerous files that contained statutorily protected patient health care information and highly confidential and proprietary information, according to the suit.

Some of the alleged information misappropriated includes training pamphlets, strategic business plan, peer review letters, and a file named patient information.

Baylor Frisco argues that Cindy Bledsoe misappropriated the information for the benefit of her new employer and developing Forest Park's business strategies.

Mike Bledsoe is accused of assisting in the misappropriation of confidential and proprietary documents.

The defendants are accused of violating the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, breach of contract, misappropriation and disclosure of confidential/proprietary information, conversion, breaches of duty of loyalty and fiduciary duty, and violation of the Texas Theft Liability Act.

The Medical Center is asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order and then a permanent injunction to stop the defendants. The Center is also asking for an award of actual damages, interest and attorney's fees.

The plaintiff is represented by Jeff Cody and C. Bryce Benson of Fulbright & Jaworski in Dallas.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00037

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