The most unexpected thing

  1. Hello. I am posting this in the Texas forum because I live in and am licensed in TX. However, anyone is welcome to reply.
    I received a certified piece of mail to my new address that I have lived at for only 7 weeks, adressed to my name, RN. It is from a lawyer in Austin. To quote them, they "may bring a lawsuit on behalf of our client, against all responsible parties, including you, if that is the case, relating to the mismanagement of the care and treatment" of their client.
    Ok, so I read it and its a HIPAA thing. Yes, I understand that nurses get sued everyday. However, this is: #1-A pt. that I have never taken care of. #2- A pt. who is way older than anyone Ive ever taken care of, I work pedi, this person was born in the 60's. #3- I have only had my license since January. They want me to turn over any and all medical records that I have (why would a nurse keep them??????)and they enclosed a Protected Health Information form and an affadavit.
    Obviously they have made a mistake, I have only been an RN for 7 weeks, never met this dude, and have never worked at the place they mention in the letter.
    The thing that bugs me is that they got my address. Does anyone know if the BNE will give addresses of the people they license away at the request of any stupid ambulance chaser of a lawyer? Wouldnt they at LEAST look and see that these people have the wrong person? I seriously cannot think of a way for some random lawyer to have my address, which is new and not listed in any phone books or anything.
    Can the BNE do this? Will I find the answer to this in the Nurse practice Act?
    Obviously I am sending them a certified letter in return to inform them of their mistake, and calling them, but I am really disturbed.
    Thanks for reading.
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    About JuicyJem

    Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 82


  3. by   mattsmom81
    Our BON gives out our most recent address...they may sell it, I don't know for sure. This is how we get all the nurse junk mail we do...LOL!

    This HIPAA stuff is disturbing to me, just another reason someone can try and sue. You don't have to reply to this attorney but you may wish to do so just to get them off your back. I would be aggravated too and hope it turns out bogus. I heard of a case like this where someone found out all nurses had computer access to their chart, and they decided to sue because of that. They got a database of all the nurses in the whole system and sent letters like yours. It was settled by the facility as far as I know. Lawyers will always find a reason to sue and sounds like this one is on a witch hunt to me. Good luck.
  4. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from mattsmom81
    ... You don't have to reply to this attorney...
    Think I'd wait till some affirmative response is required or otherwise called for.

    Why should we bother ourselves for the attorney's mistake?

    Perhaps in the meantime he / she will discover the error.

    Obviously, you've nothing to be concerned about here.
  5. by   longtermcarern
    I think I would take the letter to someone at your place of employment, they may want to have their lawyers involved.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    One thing occurred to me: was it someone you may have worked with on clinicals as a student?
  7. by   caroladybelle
    - Most state BONs keep our addresses, names, places of employment, and phone numbers and are obligated to provide them for many reasons. It isn't right but that is the law in many places.

    - This lawyer is on a fishing expedition. The best option is not to bite on the bait. If this is a legally actionable( like a supoena from the court), get a lawyer and answer it because it is required by law. If it is request for info and not legally actionable, I would make them fight for it. You don't have records so you cannot provide any info - there is nothing that you can provide. If it comes down to it, they can legally subpoena you to court just to get nothing and find out that you know nothing.

    If you know nothing about it, you can always tell lawyers that, but they tend to keep calling ....and calling.....and calling...... trying to get something to use and tend to wear people down.

    I would also have problems (Hippa-wise) with giving the info out to just anyone ...and how do you know that this lawyer is privileged to get it? He could be anyone, for all you know. If it is only released in court then the privacy has a greater guarantee. And for something to go to court, the lawyer would have to have a lot of proof of wrongdoing not just calling everyone involved,

    If you have only had your license for 7 weeks, chances are they sent this to everyone named in a chart, and are just "fishing" for someone to give them some info to make their job easier.
  8. by   purplemania
    as for addresses: your address is public knowledge, same as your license number and expiration date. If you own property, your name and address is public knowledge as well. And if your phone number is not unlisted, it also is in the phone book with your name and address. We all live in fishbowls.

    Sorry you got involved in this and hope you get it corrected soon.
  9. by   MissPiggy
    Quote from LarryG
    Think I'd wait till some affirmative response is required or otherwise called for.

    Why should we bother ourselves for the attorney's mistake?

    Perhaps in the meantime he / she will discover the error.

    Obviously, you've nothing to be concerned about here.

    I agree; if they decide they want to get you badly enough, you'll hear more, otherwise you're just wasting your time and effort. Good luck, I don't think you have anything to worry about.