Target data breach lawsuits, prompted by a 2013 data security breach affecting approximately 110 million customers, will go ahead as a class action.
According to Legal Newsline (1/5/15), Judge Paul A. Magnuson ruled that the class action could go ahead, although some of the claims made against Target were dismissed. The defendants had filed a motion to dismiss the class-action lawsuit. Magnuson wrote in the 46-page ruling that the data breach was “one of the largest breaches of payment-card security in United States retail history.”The lawsuits allege Target customers were harmed by a data breach from November 27 to December 15, 2013, that made their personal information vulnerable. The Target data breach lawsuits were filed by consumers who used either their credit or debit cards at Target during the weeks in question and whose personal information was compromised. One hundred and fourteen plaintiffs have been named in the lawsuit so far, alleging they incurred unauthorized charges, lost access to their accounts, and/or had to pay fees including card-replacement fees and costs associated with credit monitoring because of compromised personal financial information. Lawsuits have also been filed by financial institutions affected by the data breach. In filing a motion to dismiss the consumers’ complaints, Target argued that the plaintiffs could not show they were injured. However, the judge wrote that Target’s arguments “gloss over the actual allegations made and set a too-high standard for Plaintiffs to meet at the motion-to-dismiss stage.” The judge found that the plaintiffs had made plausible allegations, including unlawful charges and inability to pay other bills, that could be reasonably traced to Target’s conduct, which is enough to allow the lawsuit to proceed at this stage. Lawsuits filed against Target allege the company failed to use reasonable security practices. The judge dismissed a claim of breach of contract against Target. Other companies have also faced lawsuits alleging they failed to properly protect consumer information. Home Depot also faces lawsuits concerning a data breach that allegedly exposed its customers’ private information. The company also faces allegations that it did not alert consumers to the data breach in a timely manner. The Target lawsuit is In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 14-2522, in US District Court, District of Minnesota. Originally posted by Heidi Turner on lawyersandsettlements.com.