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TJX Cos. settles data breach lawsuit with CUs
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (9/4/09)--TJX Cos. has agreed to pay $525,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by two credit unions and two banks related to the huge data breach of its customers' information in 2005 and 2006. The Framingham, Mass.-based company will reimburse HarborOne CU of Brockton, Mass., and Eugene, Ore.-based SELCO Community CU, as well as AmeriFirst Bank and Trustco Bank for part of the expenses they incurred related to the breach, TJX said in a press release Thursday. The settlement agreement "will result in the dismissal of the putative financial institutions class action" and "all related litigation," TJX said. The $525,000 reimbursement does not include attorneys' fees. It is part of $118 million that TJX had set aside during second quarter 2007 to cover costs related to the breach. The settlement is the latest in a string of cases that have plagued the discount retailer for two and a half years. In June, TJX agreed to pay nearly $10 million to settle lawsuits filed by attorneys general in 41 states (ComputerWorld Sept. 3). In November 2007, it announced it would pay up to $40.9 million to Visa USA Inc. card issuers affected. The breach forced thousands of credit unions and banks to reissue debit and credit cards for millions of member/customers whose information was compromised by the hacking. More than 45 million cards were compromised in what was at that time the largest data breach ever and one of the costliest. Since then breaches at Hannaford Bros. grocery chain and Heartland Payment Systems have exceeded that number of cards compromised. Last week, a Miami man pleaded guilty to masterminding the attacks on TJX and other retailers, including Dave & Busters, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21 and DSW. Albert Gonzalez, 28, faces between 15 and 25 years in prison (News Now Sept. 1). TJX owns retail discount stores such as Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.
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