- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The medical records of a boy accused of shooting two students at a Roswell middle school were unlawfully accessed, according to a new lawsuit filed by the boy’s family.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court says at least eight people without authorization had access to the boy’s medical or mental health treatment records at the University of New Mexico Hospital, the Albuquerque Journal reports (http://goo.gl/GNYM1i). The lawsuit says that access violated federal law. It isn’t clear who accessed the records or why.

The hospital informed the family of the breach and said it had taken action, including suspending and terminating several employees involved.

The family’s attorneys, Robert Gorence and Jason Bowles, say UNMH should have taken “reasonable precautions to ensure that (the boy’s) confidential and sensitive medical information and records were not inadvertently publicized, disseminated or used for a malicious or inappropriate purpose.”

The university’s Health Science Center said in a statement that officials had not seen the lawsuit. State law prohibits UNMH from confirming or denying that an individual was a patient, the statement said.

Prosecutors say the boy, then 12 years old, opened fire in the gym earlier this year and injured two students.

The boy pleaded no contest in May to three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a firearm into a school.

Under New Mexico law, the state can charge minors as adults only if they are at least 14.

The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify juveniles charged with crimes.

District Judge Freddie J. Romero remanded the boy to the custody of the state Children, Youth and Families Department until age 21, but he could be released earlier if the department determines he has been rehabilitated.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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