Target Corp. has admitted hackers have stolen information related to the credit-card accounts of 40 million shoppers. At least eleven Target customers have filed proposed class action lawsuits against the retailer.
For example, Jennifer Kirk, a California resident, seeks to represent other Target customers affected by the security breach in a class action lawsuit. Her nationwide class action lawsuit has been filed in a California federal court. She claims she may have been exposed to identity theft from a data breach affecting 40 million debit and credit cards.
Kirk’s lawsuit makes several invasion of privacy and negligence claims against Target. The lawsuit alleges that stolen personal data could permit the counterfeiting of cards by encoding the information onto any cards with a magnetic strip, and may have also revealed customers’ personal codes for debit cards. “Target failed to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature and scope of the information compromised in the data breach,” according to the complaint.
Target has said the security breach occurred when a computer virus infected its point-of-sale terminals where shoppers swipe a credit or debit card to make a purchase. Data linked to some 40 million credit and debit cards may have been stolen. The breach apparently began the day after Thanksgiving and may have continued until December 15th.
Companies that collect, store or process personal information owe a duty to take reasonable measures to protect that information from theft or misuse. Many states have strong, pro-consumer data breach laws that allow a consumer to pursue claims for data security incidents regardless of whether the consumer has suffered an actual financial loss.
Companies are obviously collecting more and more information from and about their customers. However, are all companies taking the necessary steps to protect the information? Data breaches have become an all-too-common event. One report identified 855 separate data loss incidents in 2011 alone.
If your personal or financial information has been placed at risk due to a security breach incident, you may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation against the company responsible. In order to determine whether you may have a case, you need to retain experienced, qualified legal counsel at the earliest opportunity.
Contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free contact form located on this page.