Another Victim In The Providence ID Theft Case

By Deborah Gage  |  Posted Thursday, November 08, 2007 00:11 AM

The man who says he was fired by Providence Health for taking patient data home has his social security number sent to a reporter.

Thieves took the data tapes from Shields' car, which was locked and parked in his driveway, on New Year's Eve, 2006. It was the biggest data theft in the history of the state of Oregon--information on 400,000 patients was exposed.

Shields says he was fired, and in August, he sued Providence in Multnomah County Court in Portland, alleging violation of Oregon's whistleblower law. He claims to have suffered depression, skin disorders and several other ailments and asks for $1 million in damages. Providence has not yet filed a response.

Unfortunately for Shields, his social security number became part of his court record. When I asked the records department for Shields' file, they sent his number to me.

The court blames Shields' attorney, Kevin Keaney, for the mix-up. A woman in the records department named Donna--she won't say her last name--says Keaney is the one who introduced Shields' social security number into the record when he filed an affidavit naming the number and asking that it be kept from public view.

Donna says she and her coworkers don't have time to read every piece of paper in a court file before they send it out. "I don't know what this attorney was thinking," she says. But she says she will check to see if the court had a procedure that should have been followed.

Shields says he hopes his attorney can fix the problem. The attorney, Keaney, could not be reached for comment.