Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Employer Liability for Data Breach Reviewed by Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In the case of Dittman v. UPMC, No. 43 WAP 2017 (Pa. Nov. 21, 2018), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed the duty of an employer to safeguard sensitive personal information of employees. 

The court ruled that an employer has a legal duty to use reasonable care to safeguard an employee’s sensitive personal information stored by the employer on internet/accessible computer systems.  

The court additionally noted that recovery in negligence for these types of purely pecuniary damages raised in this type of case are permitted under the economic loss plan since the recovery asserted is based upon an application of an existing duty to a novel factual scenario as opposed to imposing a new affirmative duty requiring consideration of other factors under Pennsylvania law.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of the Majority Opinion written by Justice Baer may click this LINK.  Chief Justice Saylor's Concurring and Dissenting Opinion can be viewed HERE.

Source:  “Court Summaries by Timothy L. Clawges,” Pennsylvania Bar News (Dec. 17, 2018)

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