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Yath v. Fairview Clinics, N.P.

Minnesota Court of Appeals
767 N.W.2d 34 (2009)


Facts

Candace Yath (plaintiff) visited Fairview Clinics, N.P., doing business as Fairview Cedar Ridge Clinic (the Clinic) (defendant), to be treated for a sexually transmitted disease. Navy Tek (defendant), a medical assistant at the Clinic who was related to Yath’s ex-husband, recognized Yath and accessed her medical file without authorization. Tek learned of Yath’s medical diagnosis as well as information related to Yath’s new sex partner and relayed the information to another Clinic employee, Net Phat (defendant), who in turn, disclosed it to others, including Yath’s ex-husband. Subsequently, the Clinic investigated the unauthorized access to Yath’s medical file and eventually fired Tek. Shortly thereafter, a MySpace.com webpage emerged showing Yath’s photo, name, and stating that she had a sexually transmitted disease and had cheated on her spouse. The webpage was created at a business where Tek’s sister, Molyka Mao (defendant), was employed. Yath sued Tek, Mao, Phat, and the Clinic for invasion of privacy, breach of a confidential relationship, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and for violating Minnesota law related to unauthorized disclosure of a person’s medical information. Yath subsequently dismissed the claims against Mao and Tek. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Clinic and Phat. Yath appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ross, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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