LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a lawsuit against two chiropractic clinics after personal and medical patient information was discovered dumped in a Mayflower park in 2020.
The clinics are 501 Pain & Rehab in Conway and 501 Pain and Rehab Family Clinic of Russellville. Dr. John D’Onofrio and Donny McCuien, who are believed to be involved in the ownership and operation of the clinics, are the defendants in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants violated the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) by “failing to secure and protect their patients’ personal information from unauthorized access or use” and “failing to properly dispose of the personal information as required by law.”
The complaint also alleges the Defendants’ acts violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA).
According to the release from the AG’s office, Mayflower city employees arrived to work in Palarm Park near the Arkansas River in November 2020 when they noticed a truck parked near a wooded area. The workers claimed the driver abruptly drove away and that they found several medical files near where the truck was parked that were later determined to be patient records from the clinics.
Local law enforcement later determined that the description of the driver matched McCuien and that the truck matched a vehicle registered in McCuien’s name.
According to the Office of the Attorney General’s investigation, approximately 271 files, created between 2016 and 2018, were discarded in the park by the Defendants.
Authorities say the documents in the files contained unencrypted and unredacted personal and identifiable information, such as patient names, social security numbers, driver’s license or state identification numbers, patient histories, medical diagnoses, and medical treatment plans.
The lawsuit, filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court, seeks an injunction prohibiting the Defendants from engaging in further PIPA or ADTPA violations, civil penalties up to $10,000 for each PIPA and ADTPA violation, and revocation or suspension of Defendants’ authorization to do business in Arkansas, including revocation or suspension of Dr. D’Onofrio’s chiropractor license.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982.