You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Equifax sued over massive hack in multibillion-dollar lawsuit

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 9/8/2017 Polly Mosendz

Video by Fox Business

A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed against Equifax late Thursday evening, shortly after the company reported an unprecedented hack had compromised the private information of about 143 million people.

In the lawsuit, filed in Portland, Ore., federal court, users allege Equifax was negligent in failing to protect consumer data, including Social Security numbers, addresses, driver’s license data, and birth dates. Some credit card information was also put at risk.

Equifax first discovered the vulnerability in late July, though it chose not to publicly announced it until more than a month later. The company was widely criticized for its customer service approach in the aftermath of the hack, as users struggled to understand if their information had been affected. Others expressed frustration that three senior executives sold about $1.7 million in stock in the days following the discovery of the hack. A spokeswoman for Equifax said the men “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time.”

The plaintiffs, Mary McHill and Brook Reinhard, both live in Oregon and had their personal information stored by Equifax.

“In an attempt to increase profits, Equifax negligently failed to maintain adequate technological safeguards to protect Ms. McHill and Mr. Reinhard’s information from unauthorized access by hackers,” the complaint stated. “Equifax knew and should have known that failure to maintain adequate technological safeguards would eventually result in a massive data breach. Equifax could have and should have substantially increased the amount of money it spent to protect against cyber-attacks but chose not to.”  

The case was filed by the firms Olsen Daines PC along with Geragos & Geragos, a celebrity law firm known for blockbuster class action suits. Ben Meiselas, an attorney for Geragos, said the class will seek as much as $70 billion in damages nationally. 

Another lawsuit filed in Equifax's hometown of Atlanta accuses the company of negligence and willfully violating the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act for failing to take necessary steps to protect customer data.

Equifax didn’t respond to request for comment on the matter. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon