Chapel Hill, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) today filed a lawsuit against the special interest group ProCare, contending the group acted illegally to take and publish confidential business information owned by BCBSNC.
BCBSNC filed the lawsuit today in Wake County Superior Court against ProCare and its leaders – political consultants Gary Pearce and Carter Wrenn, and the group’s website manager, Jacob Montgomery. The special interest group posted documents containing proprietary BCBSNC business and financial information on the Internet. At the same time ProCare posted this information, it admitted having contact with an unnamed co–conspirator in obtaining the proprietary documents.
The lawsuit contends that ProCare unlawfully engaged in a civil conspiracy to take private business documents and publish them, violating state laws – including laws against unfair business practices.
"Our customers depend on us to safeguard sensitive information every day," said BCBSNC President and CEO Bob Greczyn. "We’re left with no choice but to act swiftly to protect our company against unlawful schemes to take and misuse confidential business information to further a narrow political or economic agenda."
Greczyn said the company was concerned about additional information that may have been put at risk as a result of ProCare’s illegal activities. The company believes that, with the help of one or more BCBSNC employees, ProCare has in its possession additional proprietary company information that it has yet to publish.
"Attacks from special interest groups go with the territory of being a successful company," Greczyn said. "But we must draw the line when those attacks evolve into illegal schemes to take and publish proprietary information that could weaken the competitive marketplace."
The lawsuit would force ProCare to return information illegally obtained from BCBSNC and to prohibit the organization from publishing any additional proprietary information. It also seeks compensatory and punitive damages and legal fees, as allowed by law.
"We take with utmost seriousness our responsibility to safeguard private business information," Greczyn said. "We’re going to vigorously pursue this action to protect our company."
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.2 million members, including approximately 620,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 71 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.