Q: I was contacted on Facebook by a plasma donation center employee to try to date me using person info provided
I went in to donate and later received a Facebook message from an employee asking me out and telling me his boss would kill him when he knew. I feel totally violated and tried to be polite as I plan to frequent this center and need the money. What are my rights here? Can I sue for privacy infringement and/or emotional suffering ?
A: You need to get help to change your Facebook Settings to make sure that your personal information is not visible to people you don't know. I am not an expert on privacy laws so whether or not you have a lawsuit I can't tell you. Generally speaking you need to prove economic damages to have a lawsuit and I don't see how this has damaged you economically. Maybe there can be damages otherwise, I don't know. But it would seem that this employee violated a fiduciary duty by contacting you for personal reasons without your consent. If you want to see this person get fired, then blow the whistle on them by alerting their boss and that will solve your problem as to future visits to this plasma center without making contact with this person. I would also report this to the police. This contact is very weird and it wouldn't surprise me if this person already has a history of stalking vulnerable people. The police might be able to tell you if this person has a history of criminal conduct. In which case you may need to take other steps to protect yourself, especially if this person gets fired and is angry at you as a result.
It is unfortunate that you have to give plasma to get the money you need. If there is any other way to get assistance you might want to investigate that avenue.
A: It is possible this violated HIPAA, and in that sense it could be an avenue to sue. However, HIPAA has no private right of action, so it is done via a breach of contract claim. The difficult part is that your damages would be hard to quantify. A demand letter to the facility may be enough though for a small settlement.
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