Ex-Sunland leader alleges privacy violation

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MARIANNA – A former superintendent of the Sunland state facility for people with developmental disabilities has filed a lawsuit against the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, alleging that her personal medical information was improperly disclosed. 


Geraldine Williams filed the lawsuit last week in Leon County circuit court and is seeking more than $100,000 in damages. The lawsuit alleges that Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Barbara Palmer publicly questioned Williams in 2018 and 2019 about a medical condition and treatment, including during conference calls with other people. 


The lawsuit does not explain the medical condition or the reasons for the alleged disclosure of the information. But it contends that Williams’ privacy rights were violated and that the disclosures violated a federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. 


“Given the sensitive nature of health care issues, the plaintiff’s expectations of privacy and confidentiality were both reasonable and subject to legal protection,” the lawsuit said. 


The Sunland facility is in Marianna.

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