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More lawsuits filed in Heartland breach
MADISON, Wis. (2/19/09)--Two new lawsuits have been filed in the Heartland Payment Systems data breach, bringing the total to three lawsuits related to the breach, which affected credit unions and their members nationwide. The Philadelphia law firm of Berger & Montague filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleging that Heartland failed to safeguard cardholder data when the company’s computer system was compromised and cardholder data were stolen. Fraudulent activity has occurred on some of the cards, the law firm said (bankinfosecurity.com Feb. 16). Schiller P.C., also a Philadelphia law firm, filed suit in February in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against Heartland, alleging similar charges as the Berger & Montague lawsuit. Previously, a lawsuit was filed Jan. 27 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Trenton, N.J., by Chimicles & Tilellis LLP of Haverford, Pa., on behalf of Alicia Cooper, a Woodbury, Minn., resident. The suit alleges that Heartland “made unreasonable, belated and inaccurate statements concerning the breach” (BankinfoSecurity Jan. 29). The Cooper complaint further alleges that Heartland didn’t offer any credit-monitoring services or other relief to consumers affected by the breach. The complaint also says “there are materially misleading statements and omissions in Heartland's public description of the breach and its consequences.” Card payments processor Heartland Payment Systems announced in January that its processing system was breached last year by a malicious software program in what could be the largest data breach to date, with possibly more than 100 million credit cards compromised (News Now Jan. 21). The information breached included card numbers and cardholders’ names. It did not include merchant data, cardholders’ Social Security numbers, unencrypted personal identification numbers, addresses or telephone numbers, said the Princeton, N.J.-based company in a press release.
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