PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s highest court says a couple can sue a hospital that disclosed confidential health care information to police, leading to drug charges against them.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday reinstated a lawsuit brought by Dwayne and Debbie Bonney against Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway.
The Bonneys went to the hospital in 2007 after being assaulted at their South Paris home. A security guard overheard them telling nurses what happened and called police over the Bonneys’ objections. Police went to their home and found evidence of marijuana cultivation.
The Bonneys claimed the guard violated their rights under federal and state laws.
The supreme court ruled that state law does not shield health care providers from liability for disclosing confidential information unless it involves an examination to obtain evidence for prosecutors.