Former Mayo doctor charged with inappropriately accessing medical records

Jun. 25—A former Mayo Clinic doctor already facing two class-action lawsuits is scheduled to make his first appearance in Olmsted County District Court next month on a criminal charge.

Ahmad Maher Abdel-Munim Alsughayer, 28, of Saginaw, Mich., is charged in Olmsted County District Court with gross misdemeanor unauthorized computer access.

He is scheduled to make his first appearance on July 8.

ALSO READ: Records of more than 1,600 Mayo Clinic patients accessed in breach

Through his attorney, Marsh J. Halberg, Alsughayer filed a motion to dismiss the case on June 1.

The motion requests that the charge be dismissed "on the grounds that there does not exist probable cause to believe the defendant committed the offense(s) charged therein."

The criminal complaint, which was filed in April, stems from allegations that Alsughayer accessed protected patient information without a need to complete his role as a doctor and hospital employee.

Specifically, a woman contacted Rochester police in December 2020 after receiving a letter from Mayo Clinic that her medical records had been accessed inappropriately by a hospital employee.

Through the letter, the woman learned that images included in her medical records that were taken on three separate occasions were also accessed.

"After receiving the letter, (the woman) stated she requested to view her own medical records and noticed the dates specified in the letter included nude images of herself," the criminal complaint reads. "(The woman) was upset because this incident appeared as though the hospital employee had accessed her medical records with the sole purpose of viewing her nude images."

Alsughayer ended his employment with Mayo in August 2020. It was around that time that the violation was discovered.

A class-action lawsuit was filed on Oct. 22, 2020, by attorneys Joshua Williams and A.L. Brown on behalf of Amanda Bloxton-Kippola, of Michigan, and Chelsea Turner, of Minnesota. Mayo Clinic and Alsughayer are named as the defendants.

A second lawsuit led by Minneapolis attorney Marshall Tanick was filed on Nov. 6, 2020, on behalf of Olga Ryabchuk, of Olmsted County. She is one of 1,131 Minnesota patients who had their records accessed. Mayo Clinic and a John Doe are named as the defendants.

A trial date for both cases is tentatively scheduled for August.

A third lawsuit against Alsughayer and Mayo Clinic was filed on May 28, 2021, by attorneys Anthony James Nemo and Andrew Davick, of Meshbesher & Spence, on behalf of a Hennepin County woman identified only as K.M.M. in court records.