Financial Institutions’ Claims in Data Breach Litigation Survive Target’s Motion to Dismiss

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In a much anticipated decision, a United States District Court in Minnesota denied Target’s attempt to dismiss financial institutions’ putative class action claims relating to losses they suffered as a result of last year’s holiday-season security breach that affected approximately 110 million Target customers. At this early stage in the litigation, the court concluded that the financial institutions (“FIs”) had sufficiently stated claims against Target for negligence, a violation of Minnesota’s Plastic Security Card Act (“PSCA”), and negligence per se as a result of Target’s violation of the PSCA.

The more than 100 lawsuits filed in the weeks following the massive hacking of consumer information were consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation into two distinct types of claims, those brought by consumers and those brought by FIs. The Minnesota court’s recent decision involved claims by the FIs. The FI plaintiffs are primarily issuer banks who issued credit and debit cards and provided credit to affected consumers.

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