ATLANTA (12/10/15)--Home Depot has denied that it authorized sending settlement offers to financial institutions--including credit unions--that are suing the retail giant for its role in last year’s massive data breach.
The Atlanta-based company said it was not aware of the notices announcing the settlement reached with MasterCard (Property Casualty 360 Dec. 8).
Financial institutions recently received letters stating that a deal had been reached between MasterCard and Home Depot on how much to reimburse financial institutions for costs suffered as a result of the breach.
But the letters failed to detail any concrete reimbursement amount and only demanded that a decision be made on whether to accept the deal by a certain date--a decision that would have required the financial institution to forfeit all legal claims against the retail giant.
Attorneys for the financial institutions urged clients to reject the settlement offer, as, based on information they had gathered, the reimbursement amount would far from have made whole the financial institutions affected by the data breach.
But Home Depot’s lawyers shot back Monday that its role in the dissemination of the communications had been misrepresented. The retailer’s attorneys also asked U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. to throw out a motion made by attorneys of the financial institutions, who had asked for access to any communications made by Home Depot directly to financial institutions regarding settlements.
Property Casualty also reported that a Home Depot spokesperson said the retailer has reached a “tentative settlement” with MasterCard, but that the deal is contingent upon acceptance by a certain number of financial institutions.
CUNA continues to press lawmakers to pass legislation that would ramp up data security standards for merchants. Until merchants are required to protect customer data at the same level as financial institutions, the nation’s largest credit union association has said, the payments network will continue to have gaps and consumer data will remain vulnerable. (See related story: HFSC overwhelmingly passes CUNA-backed data security, NCUA budget bills.)