Class actions are an extremely useful tool that benefit both plaintiffs and the courts. When plaintiffs suffer small damages that are not large enough to justify the expenses associated with filing a lawsuit, a class action allows multiple plaintiffs with similar complaints to combine their claims into one lawsuit. This also saves the courts time and money by preventing them from getting flooded with numerous lawsuits of the same nature.
Companies who conduct business all over the country sometimes face multiple class action lawsuits in different courts. Depending on where the jurisdiction falls, these class action lawsuits can sometimes be combined into one, large, nation-wide class action lawsuit.
One anonymous lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Ashley Madison is attempting just such a consolidation of multiple data breach class action lawsuits against the adultery matchmaking website.
Earlier this summer, Ashley Madison announced it had suffered a data breach. The company assured its customers no full credit card numbers had been taken, but names, emails, home addresses and sexual fantasies were accessed by hackers. Shortly after the data breach, the hackers posted the stolen personal information, including the personal information of customers who allege they had previously paid Ashley Madison a fee to have their personal information deleted.
Ashley Madison, which is based in Canada, has assured customers it is fully cooperating with investigators from the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, the FBI, and local law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute the hackers. The digital dating company has also offered a reward of CA$500,000 (US$376,260) for any information on the data breach. Noel Biderman, the founder and CEO of the company, has also agreed to step down from his position, following the data breach.
The lead plaintiff, who is going by the name “Jane Doe”, has filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate the class action lawsuits into one lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
In her motion, Doe argues she was the first to file a class action lawsuit against Ashley Madison and that she filed in Missouri court. She also argues the district is almost smack in the middle of the continental United States, which she claims would assure that those involved in the class action lawsuits would suffer minimal cost and inconvenience in the event they need to travel to the Missouri court to resolve the legal dispute.
In her motion to consolidate the class action lawsuits into one data breach lawsuit in Missouri, Doe claims that, in addition to cost and inconvenience, the Missouri federal court also has the experience, skill, and caseloads of available judges necessary to handle a class action lawsuit of this nature and size.
Avid Life Media, which runs the Ashley Madison website, also runs sites that facilitate matchmaking between older women and younger men (Cougar Life) as well as older men and younger women (Established Men). Neither of these sites was affected by the recent data breach.
Our Schaumburg, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action data breach, privacy rights, deceptive advertising, predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.
Our Schaumburg and Naperville consumer attorneys provide assistance in data breach, privacy violation, fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Wheaton consumer protection and data breach attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here. You can also call our toll free number at (877) 990-4990.