A former co-worker of a woman who sued UCLA after a romantic rival allegedly sent copies of her medical records to third parties testified Wednesday that the plaintiff’s demeanor changed significantly after the breach occurred.
Eileen Flores said she and Norma Lozano were medical assistants who worked together from 2010-14 at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. She said Lozano changed from an outgoing woman who liked to socialize to someone considerably more reserved.
“I could tell something was wrong; she was not real talkative,” Flores said. “She was not the same person she was before.”
Flores’ testimony came during the second day of trial of Lozano’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against the University of California Board of Regents and UCLA.
Lozano alleges in her lawsuit filed in April 2013 that a temporary worker in the office of Dr. John Edwards, an OB-GYN affiliated with UCLA, obtained copies of her health records and sent them in September 2012 to the father of the plaintiff’s then-unborn child, as well as to yet another of his former girlfriends.
Both the man and the other woman notified Lozano, who alleges she suffered significant emotional distress after finding out that her records were given out without her permission.
Lozano also received her medical care at UCLA and her attorneys say that is how Edwards’ former temporary employee accessed the plaintiff’s health records.
After the breach, Lozano sometimes took days to return calls and texts from Flores that she used to respond to much more quickly, her former co-worker said.
Flores also said that Lozano also was not as easygoing with patients.
“She was never mean to a patient, but she didn’t have the patience, either,” Flores said.
Flores said she was sympathetic to what Lozano went through.
“I’m sure it’s stressful going through this; I’m sure she’s not the person she used to be,” Flores said.
Lozano told her she was getting therapy, Flores testified.
In other testimony, Robert Gross, UCLA Health’s chief privacy officer, said 2,000 of the medical center’s 4.5 million patients have a so-called “break the glass” layer of security which requires those attempting to see their patient medical records to enter a password a second time and select a reason for viewing them.
Gross said Lozano did not have the added security and that it was not offered to her, but that it would have been granted to her and any other UCLA patient who requested it.
Lozano, 41, is scheduled to testify Thursday.
— City News Service