Target lawsuits are piling up across the United States and more lawsuits are expected to be filed against Target for not protecting its customers during the Target security breach that compromised the credit and debit cards of 40 million Target customers. “Customers from California, Oregon and Washington to Louisiana, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have filed would-be class actions in federal courts, alleging Target was negligent and did not protect their card information,” reported CNN Money on Dec. 24, 2013.
Last Thursday, Target announced that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts had been stolen during a security breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend and continued through Dec. 15. The stolen data included customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip found on the backs of cards.
By Tuesday, Dec. 25, a senior payments executive familiar with the Target breach said that the hackers who attacked Target Corp and compromised up to 40 million credit cards and debit cards also managed to steal encrypted personal identification numbers (PINs).
Despite Target’s admission to the security breach, Target provides very little information about the timeline or how its systems were compromised except that this was a “sophisticated” hacking operation. Attorneys from several states including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York have asked Target to provide more information about the cyber attack, and the Secret Service is leading the government's investigation into the matter.
The Target lawsuits filed by plaintiffs in several states allege that unauthorized ATM withdrawals had been made from their bank accounts.
Some Target lawsuits also allege negligence by Target and that the Target breach -- which lasted from Black Friday until Dec. 15 -- was not disclosed until customers had already spent their money at the store. "Target has an obligation to provide adequate security for the financial information they collect," said Robert Ahdoot, a lawyer for the California plaintiffs.
While more Target lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming weeks, the challenge for judges will be to consolidate them as a class action lawsuit, depending on the kind of damage done to Target customers.