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Lawsuit alleges State Farm broke privacy laws

A square, black corporate building surrounded by green, leafy trees. A large State Farm sign in the foreground is bordered by red and white flowers.
Emily Bollinger
State Farm is headquartered in Bloomington. It's the community's largest employer.

State Farm has been named in a proposed class action lawsuit claiming the insurance company violated privacy laws.

Five plaintiffs injured in accidents involving motorists insured by State Farm claim their personal health information was shared with Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO), a database firm that conducts risk-management analyses. ISO maintains billions of records.

Federal HIPAA law and the Illinois state constitution prevent the disclosure of health information without a person's permission. The plaintiffs allege ISO profited from the collection of personal information used to service customers in the insurance industry, including State Farm.

State Farm and Insurance Service Office are co-named as defendants in the suit, filed in Cook County on July 19. It alleges five counts, including violation of privacy, negligence and unjust enrichment.

A State Farm spokesperson said, "The filing of a lawsuit does not substantiate the allegations within the complaint. State Farm will not comment on the specifics of what is alleged except to say we believe the litigation is without merit."

A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 16.

Lauren Warnecke is a reporter at WGLT. You can reach Lauren at lewarne@ilstu.edu.