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Cyberattack on Hospital in US Causes Death of Baby Girl, Lawsuit Claims

Cyberattack on Springhill Medical Center.

Cyberattack on Springhill Medical Center.

The incident took place in July 2019 but the baby passed away in April 2020. The mother initially sued the hospital in January 2020, then amended the lawsuit after her daughter died.

Cyberattacks have become quite common these days that recently struc several global conglomerates, including Microsoft. Although in most cases cyber attackers demand money as ransom, we rarely hear about incidents of casualties. However, a ransomware attack on a hospital in the US has allegedly resulted in the death of a baby girl with severe brain injury. As per the lawsuit filed by the mother and reported by the Wall Street Journal, the hospital was unable to function due to the cyberattack, which subsequently led to the lack of care that the child needed.

The lawsuit by Teiranni Kidd, the baby’s mother, also adds the Springhill Medical Centre didn’t inform her that the servers were down due to the cyberattack. The incident took place in July 2019, but the baby passed away in April 2020. Kidd initially sued the hospital in January 2020, then amended the lawsuit after her daughter died. The lawsuit alleges, “On July 9, 2019, Springhil Memorial Hospital suffered a serious ransomware attack that blocked and encrypted the hospital’s computer systems, network systems, and data. On the same day, Springhill Memorial Hospital told media outlets that it experienced a ‘network event’ but that the issue ‘has not affected patient care.”

Kidd claims the hospital missed key tests when she arrived to deliver the baby. The tests would have shown that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck, leading to brain damage and death nine months later. The lawsuit also notes that had Kidd been informed about the cyberattack, she would have chosen to deliver her baby elsewhere.

The case ‘TEIRANNI KIDD v SPRINGHILL HOSPITALS’ also highlights the first incident of death due to a cyberattack. Previously, the death of a patient following a ransomware attack on a hospital in Duesseldorf, Germany, in September 2020 was considered to be the first death case due to a ransomware attack.

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first published:October 01, 2021, 12:03 IST