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Suit: Northbrook company tossed sensitive medical records in Dumpster

A document storage company tossed sensitive medical records into an unlocked Dumpster outside its north suburban office, putting thousands of people’s identities at risk, according to a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court against FileFax Inc, claims hundreds of files containing complete medical records were discovered discarded in a dumpster outside the firm’s Northbrook office.

The medical records belonged to patients of Suburban Lung Associates, which operates out of several locations in the north and northwest suburbs, a statement from the attorney general’s office said. The company contracted with FileFax to maintain and destroy patient medical records.

The lawsuit claims FileFax “failed to provide safe, secure and proper collection, retention, storage and destruction of Suburban Lung records.” It also alleges violations of the state’s Personal Information Protection Act and the Deceptive Business Practices Act.

In some instances, FileFax disposed of records in an unlocked garbage Dumpster outside of its offices that was accessible to the public, according to the suit.

“This company brazenly violated the law and jeopardized the personal information and privacy of thousands of Illinois residents,” Madigan said in the statement.