Data Breach Lawsuit
Thousands of plaintiffs filed a litigation after data breaches such as the Equifax or Yahoo ones exposed them to identity theft and financial damage. As the security of their accounts has been compromised, billions of consumers had their privacy violated. Many of them who suffered monetary losses or had their private information violated, received millions of dollars through settlements.
If your finances, credit card, privacy or reputation has been damaged during a data breach, our attorneys are here to help you. Call us now to receive a free consultation today.
What is a data breach?
A data breach (or spill) occurs when an unauthorized user illegally gains access to private or confidential information for undisclosed reasons. Hackers often retrieve corporate or individual information to steal their passwords, credit cards, bank accounts and social security numbers, or to leak and publish data to unsecured locations.
Whenever a consumer provides his private information to someone, that company or individual is charged with protecting it. If a data breach results in financial loss, identity theft or any other damage, the organization responsible for granting security might be held liable.
Why should you file a data breach litigation?
When a data breach occurs, the company responsible for protecting the data may update its security measures or force all customers to reset their passwords and PINs. However, once the hack occurred in the past, the information leaked can still be used for years to come for fraudulent purposes.
Credit cards and bank accounts can be stolen, and a victim’s credit score can be seriously affected. In order to prevent this damage, many customers had to change their debit cards, obtain new credit reports and change their insurances, often paying all these additional expenses out of their pockets. You can seek reimbursement for all of the money you lost, including service fees charged by an organization that failed to secure your data, or that you had to pay to monitor your accounts to prevent future fraudulent activities.
If you have been a victim of an identity theft, our attorneys understand that having your privacy violated goes well beyond any financial loss, however. No settlement could ever repay the emotional toll of having your reputation ruined or your personal data exposed to the public. Our legal team will fight strenuously to let the court understand all the struggles you had to get through, and compensate you accordingly.
Current litigations and notable examples
On September 7, 2017, warned over 143 million consumers that the security of their data was breached. Unauthorized users got access to their names, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license, social security numbers and, in some cases, even credit card numbers. A large class action ensued.
The largest class action litigation in history began in December 2016, after Yahoo announced that 1.5 billion users’ private info was hacked between 2013 and 2014. A group of undisclosed criminals illegally accessed all kind of allegedly secured information, including email addresses, names, phone numbers, passwords and much more. A negligence lawsuit was immediately filed.
Many other large corporations can be mentioned as notable examples, including the fast food chains Arby’s and Wendy’s, the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), and many large online services such as LinkedIn, Tumblr and Dropbox. In several instances, the stolen email addresses and passwords resurfaced later on the Internet, sold in the deep web’s black markets.
Previous data breach settlements
Several multimillion-dollar settlements have been successfully collected by plaintiffs who filed a data breach lawsuit. In June 2017, Anthem Inc., the largest insurance company in the United States, agreed to pay a $115 million settlement to wrap up a litigation that involved over 80 million customers whose private information was violated.
After suffering a massive hack that compromised the security of the PlayStation network, and of thousands of employee’s personal info later on, Sony had to pay two settlements – a $15 million one in 2014 and an $8 million one in 2015. In March 2016, Home Depot agreed to reimburse customers for $13 million, and paid an additional $6.5 million in damages to everyone who had his or her identity violated. A year later, the same organization had to pay $25 million to well over a dozen of banks and financial institutes.
Many other companies eventually agreed to pay similarly large settlements including:
- LinkedIn: $1.25 million
- Target: $28.5 million
- AvMed Inc.: $3.1 million
- Stanford University Hospital and Clinics: $4.1 million
- Schnuck Markets: $2.1 million
- Ashley Madison: $12.8 million
How can you tell if you have been a victim of data leaks?
If your personal data was involved in any breach, the compromised company is bound by law to notify you as soon as possible. If you never received an email from them, you should contact them to confirm if your privacy was affected in a recent hack. However, you can also check it yourself by visiting a website created by the Regional Director for Microsoft and web security expert Troy Hunt. You just need to enter your email address. If the compromised organization failed to warn you in due time, you have ground to sue them.
The best way to protect yourself from future breaches is to use a different password for each website, and avoid using weak ones such as your birthday or firstborn’s name. Setting up multi-step verifications via smartphone or email is also a good idea. If you noticed any suspicious activity on your bank account or credit card, call your financial institution immediately to report the fraud. The more evidence you collect of potentially fraudulent activities you’ve been a victim of, the higher the chances of receiving a settlement.
How can you file a data breach case in court?
Our data breach lawyers will help you in determining if your lawsuit is eligible for compensation. We will assist you through every step of the legal process, from collecting evidence and documentation, to presenting your case in court. Together, we will determine if the company you’re suing:
- Failed to adopt proper measures to safeguard your data and prevent the breach (such as encrypting your information)
- Broke the customer agreements
- Its policies were not adequate to industry standards
- Failed to notify customers as soon as possible after learning about the leak
- Violated any state or federal law
- Provide an effective method to protect your data after the breach occurred
We will also help you check if your case is eligible to participate in a larger mass tort or class action suit against that company. Our legal team will do everything possible to guarantee your success in court and maximize your compensation.
Call us today: our attorneys are here to provide answers to all your questions.