U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson in St. Paul, Minn., has ruled the Target data breach lawsuit on behalf of consumers may move forward. The judge largely denied Target’s request to dismiss the class action lawsuit, saying consumers could “plausibly allege” financial injuries related to the data breach.
The massive Target data breach occurred just as the 2013 holiday shopping season was getting underway, between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. It is believed to have compromised at least 40 million credit and debit cards and resulted in identity theft affecting as many as 110 million people. Personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers, credit and debit card numbers and PINs were stolen by hackers.
Consumers eligible to participate in the class action lawsuit would have used their credit or debit card during the dates of the breach, and had their account information compromised. This may have resulted in unauthorized charges, overdraft fees on their account, fees for credit-monitoring and security services and other expenses resulting from stolen financial and personal information.
Earlier this month, Judge Magnuson also ruled that litigation on behalf of credit unions, banks and other financial institutions related to the Target data breach also may move ahead. Many financial institutions were left holding the bag when their customers’ accounts were breached, responsible for closing accounts, reissuing credit and debit cards and taking the hit for unauthorized charges that were refused by the consumer.
The case is In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, No. 14-md-02522.