Sony Settling Class Action Lawsuits for Data Breach

In today’s increasingly digital age, it has become easier than ever for hackers to gain access to people’s personal information, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. Most major credit card companies offer monitoring services to protect customers from fraudulent charges, but they charge an extra fee for these services and many people don’t want to pay the extra fee if they don’t have to.

More often than not, large companies are the targets of cyberattacks, but it’s not usually the company that experiences any negative outcomes from the attacks. Instead, it’s the customers and/or employees whose personal information was compromised in the attack who suffer. The companies rarely experience any consequences of these attacks until someone files a lawsuit against the company for failing to take the proper security measures to protect against these data breaches.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. is one such company that is currently facing a class action lawsuit after a data breach exposed the personal information of thousands of the studio’s employees.

The data breach occurred in November 2014 and was linked to North Korea and the studio’s upcoming movie “The Interview”, which is pending release by Sony Pictures. The movie stars James Franco and Seth Rogen and is about an assassination attempt on North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, who has reportedly retaliated against news of the movie’s theme.

The cyberattack allegedly compromised personal information such as names, addresses, financial and medical information, Social Security numbers, and employment files of about 15,000 employees of the studio.

The plaintiffs of the data breach class action lawsuit allege Sony Pictures failed to take adequate safety measures to prevent the massive data breach.

Sony offered one year of credit monitoring to employees whose information was compromised during the attack, but the class of plaintiffs allege many employees had already subscribed to a monitoring service. The plaintiffs are seeking five years of monitoring to protect themselves from the data breach, in addition to damages.

At first Sony, attempted to have the data breach class action lawsuit dismissed, arguing that employees had not suffered any harm as a result of the data breach and, as such, had no standing to sue the company. The studio’s request to dismiss the lawsuit was denied and now Sony Pictures has agreed to settle the class action lawsuit.

A jury trial for the data breach lawsuit has been scheduled for February 9, 2016, but the plaintiffs have asked the court to extend the deadlines in order to give the parties sufficient time to complete all the necessary documents for the settlement.

The terms of the settlement have not yet been released, but as of right now, the plaintiffs are scheduled to file their motion for preliminary approval of the settlement in October. If the judge approves of the terms of the settlement, then it will have to await final approval from the court. Once final approval of the settlement has been granted, Sony Pictures can start sending out checks to eligible class members and possibly putting new safety measures in place, depending on the terms of the settlement.

Our Evanston and Skokie, 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 Advocatesthe National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at 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 Joliet and Cicero 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 Elgin 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 630-333-0333.

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