Thousands Of Pharmacy Records Left Behind Closed Winn Dixie


Patrice Clark

"I received a anonymous call from a gentleman, and first I thought that it was con call, so I listened for a while and he seemed sincere."

He was sincere enough for Patricia Kendrick to rush to the old Pascagoula Winn Dixie store to see if what the man said was true.

"My medical records, my prescription records mainly, was behind the Winn Dixie Store that been shut down for a couple of years," Kendrick said.

"He handed me my slip that had blown down the road, along with several prescriptions from local doctors."

Kendrick's telephone number, social security number and address were on the papers. Hers was part of a huge pile of patient profiles, empty drug containers and prescription papers.

So Kendrick called the authorities.

"Thousands and thousand of records," Pascagoula Compliance Officer David Groves said, as he looked through the piles of papers.

"Winn Dixie, apparently when they were closed up, they put these bundles out here to be picked up and they were not ever picked up."

Winn Dixie's communication manager told WLOX News, "Although originally scheduled to be destroyed when the facility closed in August 2005, the documents were inadvertently left on the premises. Upon learning of this, we immediately took measures to collect the documents for proper destruction."

"The violation itself, as far as the city's laws are concerned, are the litter problem. What I think they will be looking at more, as far as violation, is violation of the HIPPA laws. This confidential information should not be out here."

In the wrong hands, Groves says the papers could lead to identity theft.

"I would label this as pretty severe."

That's what worries Patricia Kendrick.

"I plan on suing Winn Dixie and whoever else is involved."

Winn Dixie's statement also offered an apology to customers for any inconvenience this incident caused. The company says the records are more than seven years old, and will now be disposed of properly.

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