Allentown, PA

PA Hospital Hit with Lawsuit After Cyberattackers Posted Photos of Patients

Bethany Latham

Lehigh Valley Health Network is being sued after refusing to pay ransom to stop photo leak

A cyberattack group threatened Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown last month in a message stating that it had photos of cancer patients receiving treatment at LVHN facilities. The group posted the photos on the dark web after LVHN refused to pay ransom. Now, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the LVHN.

The lawsuit was filed for a female cancer patient from the Scranton area and other patients who were affected. The group known as ALPHV or Black Cat posted a message to LVHN in March stating that it had nude photos of cancer patients as well as patients' personal information. LVHN refused to pay the ransom demanded by the group.

The amount of the ransom has not been disclosed but in January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services posted a warning about Black Cat and another group, Royal, stating that Black Cat has demanded ransoms as high as $1.5 million.

The lawsuit against LVHN contends that the health network is "publicly patting itself on the back for standing-up to these hackers," while ignoring "the real victims: Plaintiff and the Class.” The lawsuit mentions nude photos, and says that the plaintiff and other class members are entitled to punitive damages.

LVHN did not comment on the matter, saying it does not comment on active legal matters. It did release a statement after the Black Cat ransom demand was received, condemning the group and its actions.

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Bethany Latham reports news that matters to you in your daily life and your work life. Unbiased reporting of news that's of interest to Pennsylvania residents and people across the United States. Email:

Wilkes-Barre, PA

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