Class action lawsuit filed here against Target over huge data breach

2014-02-15T08:30:00Z Class action lawsuit filed here against Target over huge data breachED TRELEVEN | Wisconsin State Journal | etreleven@madison.com | 608-252-6134 madison.com

A Wausau bank and a Fitchburg man filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against retail giant Target over the security breach late last year that affected millions of its customers.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, is the first of its kind to be filed in Wisconsin among a national wave of lawsuits against Target over the breach, in which hackers stole data about customers’ debit and credit cards that could be used by thieves to steal from Target customers.

Among other things, the lawsuit seeks restitution from Target of revenues it makes as a result of its failure to protect customers’ data and compensation for long-term credit- and identity-theft monitoring for customers. For banks, the lawsuit seeks compensation for the cost of re-issuing cards and monitoring bank accounts for fraud.

The customer class is represented by Kas Schafer, of Fitchburg, while the banking class is represented by Integrity First Bank, headquartered in Wausau. The lawsuit states that Schafer had to wait weeks for his bank to send him a replacement debit card, while Integrity had to cancel and re-issue credit and debit cards to many of its customers who had made Target purchases between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, when the breach is believed to have occurred.

Eric Haag, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, said that this is the first Wisconsin case against Target over the data breach, and one of about 80 pending nationally. But this case is among the few that seek to certify not only a class of customers but a class of banks.

While plaintiffs in some of the other cases elsewhere are seeking to combine as multi-district litigation, Haag said he hopes this case remains in federal court in Madison.

Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Target was negligent because it failed to properly safeguard customer data and failed to disclose the breach to customers in a timely manner once the retailer became aware of it.

It also alleges that Target violated customers’ privacy rights and breached its fiduciary duty to customers.

Hackers managed to get extensive customer data, including credit- and debit-card numbers. It was reported last week that the hackers had breached a data connection between Target and its heating and ventilation contractor, a connection that was being used by the contractor to bill Target and exchange other information with the retailer.

The breach gave hackers access to information on 40 million credit and debit cards and personal data on about 70 million customers.

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(2) Comments

  1. geo_
    Report Abuse
    geo_ - February 15, 2014 11:18 am
    If your looking to sue someone for theft of personal information, I'd think the NSA has deep pockets
  2. Danielson
    Report Abuse
    Danielson - February 15, 2014 8:38 am
    Frivolous lawsuits. Let's give lawyers more money!

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