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Data Breach Class Actions

What Are Data Breach Class Actions?

Berger & Montague, P.C. frequently investigates class action lawsuits on behalf of individuals whose personal information was stolen in data breaches.  Common breaches involve the theft of Social Security numbers, banking information, medical data, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information that can be used for identity theft.  Data breaches are most often committed by computer hackers or a company's own rogue employees.data breach

When a company fails to protect consumer information, and a data breach occurs, victims of the breach can join together and file a class action.  These lawsuits are filed against the company and seek relief such as reimbursement of victims' identity theft losses and other out-of-pocket losses; credit monitoring services with accompanying identity theft insurance; and improvements to the company data security systems.


Data Breach Notices

By law, companies that experience a data breach generally must notify the affected individuals.  Notice is usually sent by mail or e-mail.  If you receive notice that your personal information was compromised, and you are interested in filing a class action lawsuit, please contact us.

What Types of Identity Theft Risks Exist?

Identity thieves use stolen personal information to commit a variety of frauds including opening new financial or utility accounts in another person's name, taking out loans in another person's name, obtaining medical services using the victim's information, using the victim's identity to obtain government benefits, filing a fraudulent tax return using the victim's information, obtaining a driver's license or identification card in the victim's name but with another person's picture, or giving false information to police during an arrest.

Examples of Berger & Montauge's Data Breach Cases

Berger & Montague attorneys have been involved in several large data breach class actions:

  • We served as co-lead counsel in In re TJX Cos. Retail Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 1838, No. 07-cv-10162-WGY (D. Mass.).  There, computer hackers stole 45 million credit and debit card numbers, and 455,000 driver's license numbers which often matched Social Security numbers.  The breach was the then-largest theft of consumer data in U.S. history.  We obtained a settlement valued at approximately $200 million, including two years of credit monitoring, cash, vouchers, and improvements in TJX's data security system.  In approving the settlement, the judge praised the results as an "excellent settlement" containing "innovative" and "groundbreaking" elements. In re: TJX Cos. Retail Security Breach Litig., 584 F. Supp. 2d 395, 399 n.6 (D. Mass. 2008).
  • We were also appointed to the Executive Committee in In re Countrywide Fin. Corp. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 1998, No. 08-MD-01998-TBR (W.D. Ky.).  There, a Countrywide employee was arrested for stealing and selling Countrywide customers' names, Social Security numbers, bank account information, and other sensitive data.  The case settled for various benefits including two years of credit monitoring made available to 1.9 million class members, a $6.5 million cash fund to reimburse identity theft and other out-of-pocket losses for 17 million class members, and improvements in Countrywide's data security systems. In re Countrywide Fin. Corp. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., No. 08-MD-01998-TBR, 2010 WL 3341200, at *9 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 23, 2010).
  • We were also appointed to the Executive Committee in In re: Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 2046, No. 09-MD-2046 (S.D. Tex.).  There, hackers stole millions of credit and debit card numbers from a credit card processing company.  The case settled for a cash fund to reimburse identity theft charges and other out-of-pocket costs, and improvements to Heartland's data security systems. In re Heartland Payment Sys., Inc. Customer Data Sec. Breach Litig., 851 F. Supp. 2d 1040, 1049 (S.D. Tex. 2012).

We are currently involved in the following data breach cases:

No Fees Without Recovery

Our data breach class actions are brought on a contingent fee basis.  That means plaintiffs and the class do not pay out-of-pocket attorneys' fees or court costs.  Fees and costs, if any, are paid out of the recovery obtained for the class, subject to court approval.


Contact Us to Inquire About a Data Breach Class Action

We invite you to contact us about a potential case.  Please fill out the contact form to the right.  You may also contact Jon Lambiras, one of our data breach attorneys, at 215-875-3036 or jlambiras@bm.net.

What Are Data Breach Class Actions?

 

Berger & Montague, P.C. continuously investigates potential class action lawsuits on behalf of individuals whose personal information was stolen in data breaches.  Common breaches involve the theft of Social Security numbers, banking information, medical data, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information that can be used for identity theft purposes.  Data breaches are most often committed by computer hackers or a company's own rogue employees.

 

When a company fails to protect consumer information, and a data breach occurs, victims of the breach can join together and file a class action.  These lawsuits are filed against the company and usually seek relief such as improvements to the data security systems; reimbursement of victims' identity theft losses and other out-of-pocket losses; and credit monitoring services with identity theft insurance.

 

Companies that experience a data breach must notify the affected individuals.  Notice is usually sent by mail or e-mail.  If you receive notice that your personal information was compromised, please contact us as noted below.  You may be able to file a class action on behalf of yourself and all victims of the breach.

 

What Types of Identity Theft Risks Exist?

 

Identity thieves can use stolen personal information to commit a variety of frauds including opening new financial or utility accounts in another person's name; taking out loans in another person's name; obtaining medical services using the victim's information; using the victim's identity to obtain government benefits; filing a fraudulent tax return using the victim's information; obtaining a driver's license or identification card in the victim's name but with another person's picture; or giving false information to police during an arrest.

 

Examples of B&M's Data Breach Cases

 

We have been involved in several large data breach class actions.

 

We served as co-lead counsel in In re TJX Cos. Retail Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 1838, No. 07-cv-10162-WGY (D. Mass.).  There, computer hackers stole 45 million credit and debit card numbers, and 455,000 driver's license numbers which often matched Social Security numbers.  The breach was the then-largest theft of consumer data in U.S. history.  We obtained a settlement valued at approximately $200 million, including two years of credit monitoring, cash, vouchers, and improvements in TJX's data security system.  In approving the settlement, the judge "praised counsel for its efforts on behalf of the class and the 'excellent settlement' that resulted therefrom."  In re: TJX Cos. Retail Security Breach Litig., 584 F. Supp. 2d 395, 399 n.6 (D. Mass. 2008).

 

We were involved in In re Countrywide Fin. Corp. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 1998, No. 08-MD-01998-TBR (W.D. Ky.).  There, a Countrywide employee was arrested for stealing and selling Countrywide customers' names, Social Security numbers, bank account information, and other sensitive data.  The case settled for various benefits including two years of credit monitoring made available to 1.9 million class members, a $6.5 million cash fund to reimburse identity theft and other out-of-pocket losses for 17 million class members, and improvements in Countrywide's data security systems.  In re Countrywide Fin. Corp. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., No. 08-MD-01998-TBR, 2010 WL 3341200, at *9 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 23, 2010).

 

We were also involved in In re: Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 2046, No. 09-MD-2046 (S.D. Tex.).  There, hackers stole millions of credit and debit card numbers from a credit card processing company.  The case settled for a cash fund to reimburse identity theft charges and other out-of-pocket costs, and improvements to Heartland's data security systems.  In re Heartland Payment Sys., Inc. Customer Data Sec. Breach Litig., 851 F. Supp. 2d 1040, 1049 (S.D. Tex. 2012).

 

No Fees Without Recovery

 

Our data breach class actions are brought on a contingent fee basis.  That means plaintiffs and the class do not pay out-of-pocket attorneys' fees or court costs.  Fees and costs, if any, are paid out of the recovery obtained for the class, subject to court approval.

 

Contact Us to Inquire About a Data Breach Class Action

 

We invite you to contact us about a potential case.  Please fill out the contact form to the right.  You may also contact Jon Lambiras, one of our data breach attorneys, at 215-875-3036 or jlambiras@bm.net.