SAN DIEGO (3/21/14)--The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will hold a hearing session next week during which plaintiffs will make the case to move Target class action lawsuits to Minnesota.
Class action lawsuits have been filed across the country--including six by credit unions--in the wake of last year's data security breach at retail giant Target. About 40 million debit and credit card numbers were compromised as was the personal information of as 70 million customers.
The March 27 hearing by the panel of seven sitting federal judges will be in San Diego.
The plaintiffs can be roughly divided into two classes: the individual consumers who had their data compromised and the financial institutions that suffered hard dollar losses, said Robin Cook, assistant general counsel for special projects, Credit Union National Association.
The injuries are different, but they stem from the factual event, he noted. Financial institutions would be seeking compensation for the costs incurred after the breach. A CUNA survey estimated the breach cost credit unions about $30.6 million.
Minnesota is home of Target's headquarters and, as such, is a likely location for the case to be placed, should it be consolidated.
Additionally, Minnesota has state statutes that may be favorable to some of the plaintiffs. The statutes prohibit merchants or businesses from retaining magnetic strip information that was captured during a transaction.
If the information is retained and a breach occurs, the business also would have to reimburse financial institutions for the cost of reissuing cards, closing or reopening accounts, and notifying cardholders of the breach.
Another statute provides that businesses must disclose "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay" if a breach occurs.