e-health

Epic Systems Corp. takes on Indian IT giant Tata

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Health IT blogs are starting to buzz about the “Goliath vs. Goliath” lawsuit — that is, Epic’s claims against two divisions of Tata, the tcs_logohuge conglomerate in India.

Epic Systems Corp., of Verona, a giant in electronic health records, filed suit Oct. 31 in U.S. District Court in Madison against Tata Consultancy Services, of Mumbai, and Tata America International Corp., in New York. Details were added in an amended lawsuit filed Jan. 26.

Epic wants an injunction and undetermined damages, accusing Tata Consultancy of “brazenly stealing” Epic’s trade secrets in “what appears to be an elaborate campaign of deception.” The information could be used to bolster Tata’s own health care software, Med Mantra, “to unfairly compete with Epic,” says the complaint.

“As President Obama recently articulated during the State of the Union Address, it is a matter of great national concern that ‘no foreign national, no hacker, should be able to … steal our trade secrets,’” the lawsuit says.

The 39-page amended complaint alleges Tata workers — hired as consultants to help Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon, use its Epic software — inappropriately downloaded more than 6,000 documents from Epic’s computer network detailing “over 20 years of development of Epic’s proprietary software and database systems.”

Epic says it discovered the “fraudulent” activity last June and July, alleging that “the theft appears to have been masterminded in Mumbai, then carried out in both India and the United States.”

Epic says a Tata employee in Portland claimed he was a Kaiser employee to get access to protected information. He downloaded at least 6,477 documents, then passed along his access credentials to two employees in India, Epic says. At least one other Tata consultant was believed to have downloaded documents, as well.

The case accuses Tata of computer fraud, stealing trade secrets, breach of contract, and damage to Epic’s business. It says privately owned Tata Group is “one of the largest companies in the world.” Tata Consultancy alone is “a worldwide behemoth in its own right,” with nearly $13.5 billion in annual revenues, the suit says.

Epic had $1.8 billion in revenues in 2014.Epic, meanwhile, is the defendant in unrelated lawsuits filed by current and former employees.

A $5.4 million settlement with quality assurance workers for unpaid overtime is scheduled for final action before U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb on March 20.

Technical writers filed similar lawsuits in early February.

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