LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a lawsuit against two chiropractic clinics, 501 Pain & Rehab, LLC, located in Conway, and 501 Pain and Rehab Family Clinic of Russellville, LLC, located in Russellville, as well as Dr. John D’Onofrio and Donny McCuien, who are believed to be involved in the ownership and operation of the clinics, for discarding patients’ personal and medical information in a public park near Mayflower. 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 were unconscionable business practices that violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA).
“It is appalling that any healthcare provider could be so careless and put patients’ private personal information at risk,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We must be able to trust that our healthcare providers will protect sensitive data, as they are required to do under the law. This lawsuit aims to hold these bad actors accountable for their reckless behavior.”
In November 2020, Mayflower city employees arrived to work in Palarm Park, a public park near the Arkansas River, when they noticed a truck parked near a wooded area. The driver abruptly drove away, and the city employees found a number of 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.
The investigation, conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, revealed that approximately 271 files, created between 2016 and 2018, were discarded in the park by the Defendants. 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. If anyone has information about this incident, please contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982.