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Winninger v. Kirchner.

2021 CO 47. No. 21SA87. Standing—Statutory Construction—Civil Theft—Theft of Medical Records or Information.

June 14, 2021

In this original proceeding pursuant to C.A.R. 21, the Supreme Court reviewed the district court’s order denying plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss defendants’ civil theft counterclaim based on an alleged lack of standing. Upon consideration of plaintiffs’ C.A.R. 21 petition, and joined by third-party defendant, the Court issued a rule to show cause directing defendants to explain why (1) the term “theft” as used in CRS § 18-4-405 encompasses the theft of medical records or medical information under CRS § 18-4-412(1), such that respondents have standing to pursue their civil theft counterclaim in this case; and (2) respondents’ civil theft counterclaim is not barred by CRS § 18-4-412(5).

The Court concluded that the term “theft” as used in CRS § 18-4-405 refers to “theft” within the meaning of CRS § 18-4-401 and therefore does not encompass the theft of medical records or medical information under CRS § 18-4-412(1). Therefore, defendants do not have standing to bring a civil theft claim based on a violation of the theft of medical records statute.

Accordingly, the Court made the rule to show cause absolute and did not need to address whether defendants’ civil theft claim is also barred under CRS § 18-4-412(5).

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

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