Sue Equifax

Sue Equifax For Security Breach

Months after the gigantic data breach by Equifax victims are still struggling to recover, despite promises from the company to help. Many victims have had to fight single-handedly to regain their identities and try to restore their credit reports.

The Background

Between mid-May and July last year hackers breached the security system of Equifax which went undetected until 29 July. In early August external forensic consultants became involved and the breach was only announced publicly on 7 September, 2017.

In excess of 145 million people had their personal information exposed, mostly American, but also that of British and Canadian consumers. The sensitive data that was compromised includes: dates of birth; social security numbers; email addresses, mailing addresses, and even driver’s license numbers �” the type of data that is necessary to confirm identity in most applications.

A slew of investigations and litigation has followed in the wake of one of the most highly sensitive and highly publicized cybersecurity attacks in the history of America. This includes an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, 240 individual class action lawsuits, and more than 60 investigations from the U.S. State Attorneys General as well as federal agencies and the Canadian and British governments.

A Rare 50-State Class-Action Suit

It seems that things just got worse for Equifax with the latest complaint in a 322-page document naming plaintiffs from all states across the District of Columbia wanting to sue Equifax, claiming to have suffered injury to varying degrees from the breach in security at Equifax.
The 50-state class-action suit alleges that the failure of the company to apply the critical software security patch needed after the vulnerability was identified directly led to the breach. It also alleges that further harm was suffered by the plaintiffs because of a number of missteps by Equifax following the breach.

83 separate cases of action on behalf of a nation-wide class, and 2 state-wide subclasses have been brought, as well as one under state consumer protection laws, and another under state data breach statutes alleging deceptive and unfair business practices and acts by Equifax.

Because of the rising number of individual class act suits pending an MDL (Multi-District Litigation) was proposed to consolidate the number of suits into one Federal District Court and oral arguments started at the end of November 2017.

Equifax will probably have to pay consumers actual money as compensation for their shoddy security practices and according to Jay Edelson, a Chicago attorney, if lawsuits to sue Equifax are done properly, the company will be paying more than a billion dollars, most of which will go in cash to over 143 million consumers whose personal data had been stolen. The lawsuits are predicted to be settled in less than two years and most consumers who sue Equifax will be in line to receive at least some compensation.