Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,300+ case briefs...

Byrne v. Avery Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology

Supreme Court of Connecticut
102 A.3d 32 (Conn. 2014)


The Avery Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology (Avery) (defendant) provided Emily Byrne (plaintiff) with medical care and treatment. Avery provided all patients, including Byrne, with notice of its privacy policy regarding protected health information. Avery agreed, based on this policy and on law, that it would not disclose Byrne’s health information without her authorization. Byrne was in a relationship with Andro Mendoza. Byrne instructed Avery not to release her medical records to Mendoza. Mendoza filed a paternity suit against Byrne. Avery received a subpoena requesting Byrne’s medical records. Avery did not alert Byrne of the subpoena. Avery mailed a copy of Byrne’s medical file to the court. Mendoza informed Byrne that he reviewed her medical record in the court file. Byrne then filed a motion to seal her medical record, which was granted. Byrne brought action against Avery, arguing, among other issues, that Avery acted negligently by failing to use proper care in protecting her medical records and that Avery engaged in conduct constituting negligent infliction of emotional distress. Both of these claims were brought under state law. Avery argued that the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) preempted any action dealing with confidentiality of medical information. The trial court agreed with Avery and also held that HIPPA does not create a private right of action. Byrne appealed, arguing that common-law negligence actions may complement rather than obstruct HIPPA for preemption purposes. The Supreme Court of Connecticut heard the appeal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Norcott, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,300 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial