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Paul v. Providence Health System-OR

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-24-2012
Case #: S059131
Balmer, J. for the Court; De Muniz, C.J.; Durham, J.; Walters, J.; Linder, J.; and Landau, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/sites/Publications/S059131.pdf

Tort Law: Plaintiffs cannot recover for speculative, future financial harm or emotional distress related to a risk of loss when a current injury has not been claimed.

Paul, representing all affected individuals in a class action law suit, appeals a judgment of the Court of Appeals that held Providence did not owe Paul a heightened duty of care to protect against economic injury or emotional harm. Paul and other patients of Providence Health System-Oregon (Paul) filed a class action against Providence Health System-Oregon (Providence), a non-profit healthcare organization, after Paul's confidential information, including Social Security numbers, was stolen from Providence. Paul claims Providence caused past and future economic injury in the form of credit monitoring, other preventive measures, and emotional distress. The Court held that Paul failed to state a claim for actual present financial injury because, under Oregon law, the possibility of future injury does not lead to negligence or emotional distress claims. The Court also held that Paul's claim under the Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA) failed because the speculative losses they may incur as a result of identity theft are not covered by UTPA. Affirmed.