Morris & Dean
Free Initial Consultation 706-847-4086
Se Habla EspaƱol
View Our Practice Areas

Business litigation over data breach claims reinstated by Court

Georgia is home to its share of litigation over data breaches against big retailers and respected organizations. When criminal hackers penetrate the security protections of a company's data banks, class action lawsuits and some individual business litigation actions usually follow. The plaintiffs are customers whose private information has been taken and who are facing potentially dire consequences.

When one's Social Security number and credit card information is stolen by hackers, there is a good likelihood that the information will be used for criminal purposes. One case that was recently reviewed by a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The class action filed on behalf of optometrists against the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Inc. alleged that the class had suffered injuries as a result of the breach.

However, the U.S. District Court judge dismissed the case on the basis that the damages alleged were speculative in nature. That court asserted that the injuries alleged could only occur in the future, and were not traceable to the board. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal, holding that the plaintiffs sufficiently established that they had suffered real damages. Numerous fraudulent credit card accounts had been opened in optometrists' names.

The Optometry Board took the wrong strategic position by not acknowledging that it had been the subject of an attack. The three-judge appeals court reinstated the litigation because the plaintiffs proved that the perpetrators had used and attempted to use the personal information to open Chase Amazon Visa credit cards. The Court of Appeals concluded that there was no speculation and that the plaintiffs had or will suffer substantial harm.

Business litigation in the federal courts in Georgia and other states dealing with data breach claims have ruled similarly. Some courts have held that even complaints of fear are enough to establish damages, but that may be going too far. Experts believe that the standard for damages in data breach cases may have to be clearly defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in the future.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us for the Help you Deserve Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Contact Us for the Help
you Deserve Today

Office Location

101 East Crawford Street
Suite #300
Dalton, GA 30720

Phone: 706-847-4086
Fax: 706-229-4363
Map & Directions

LAWYERS OF DISTINCTION 10 Best American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys Avvo Legal Easier Top 100 Trial Lawyers The National Trial Lawyers default.htmlistinguished AV | LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell|Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standard And Legal Avvo Rating 10.0 Jerrrey Jerome Top Attorney Martindale-Hubbell | Client Champion | gold / 2018