Judge rules dentist's stolen patient list not protected information — 5 insights

Dentists

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A dentist sued a former hygienist at his practice after she admitted to stealing his patient list and taking it to a new practice, but a Michigan judge threw the case out claiming the patient list was not protected information, according to Dental Practice Marketing and Management Blog.

Here's what you should know:

1. The hygienist was treating patients at two competing offices.

2. The hygienist, not tied to a noncompete clause, began soliciting patients and bringing them to the other practice.

3. The dentist estimates the hygienist solicited nearly 150 patients away from him, costing him approximately $1 million in lost revenue.

4. The dentist filed a lawsuit. During a hearing, the hygienist admitted to stealing the list while under oath. However, a Michigan judge threw the suit out claiming a patient list is not protected information and not covered under the Michigan Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

5. The dentist is unhappy with the decision, and is urging other practices to learn from his story. He suggests having every staff member sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent such misuse.

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