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Motion filed to consolidate nine Hannaford lawsuits
BANGOR, Maine (4/17/08)--A motion seeking to consolidate about nine lawsuits into a single federal class-action lawsuit against grocery chain Hannaford Bros. has been filed in a U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine. The motion to consolidate was filed on behalf of Greg Doherty and "all others similarly situated" against Hannaford. The Scarborough, Maine-based company announced earlier this year a breach of data in transit at its stores resulted in the exposure of 4.2 million credit and debit card numbers to potential fraud (Times Herald-Record April 16). Credit unions in New England, New York and Florida were among the financial institutions that re-issued cards for members whose accounts were compromised by the data breach. The newest motion alleges that Hannaford was negligent in not providing adequate data security and did not inform its customers quickly enough about the breach. The breach occurred between Dec. 7, 2007, and March 10. It was discovered Feb. 27, and the breach was made public March 17. The breach affected about 300 grocery stores in the Hannaford Bros. and Florida's Sweetbay chains, plus a number of independent grocers. Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the various cases are still trying to determine the scope of the damages. Hannaford Bros. said during the week of its breach announcements that less than 2,000 accounts had been victims of fraudulent activity from the breach. The breach was unusual in that the thieves captured the data while they were being transmitted after the cards were swiped to authorize the transaction at the point of purchase.


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