CUNA and outside counsel discussed credit unions’ legal rights in the wake of the Equifax data breach, including potential participation in class action lawsuits, with more than 500 credit unions in a call Tuesday. CUNA announced it will file a lawsuit against Equifax as a result of the breach.
First announced last month, the Equifax data breach occurred between May and July of this year, with hackers accessing 145.5 million consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII), and another 200,000 payment cards’ data.
Joseph Guglielmo, attorney with Scott and Scott, who is representing CUNA in its lawsuit, outlined a few things credit unions should be aware of, should they decide to get involved as a named plaintiff. Becoming a plaintiff means retaining a law firm to file on your behalf.
The credit union would then need to be involved on a periodic basis at key junctures in the case.
“From time to time you will work with attorneys to review documents such as the complaint, and be involved in discovery. Equifax will want to take some information as to the losses and damages that the credit union has suffered,” Guglielmo said. “You’ll also be involved in settlement discussions and review and approve the settlement, to the extent we’re able to obtain one.”
Erin Comite, another attorney with Scott and Scott, said one benefit for credit unions that participate as a plaintiff is “being active in advocating a path forward and helping determine what Equifax’s role should be in remediating the damage its caused.”
The webinar also covered pros and cons of direct participation in a lawsuit against Equifax, and CUNA staff and counsel answered several questions from credit unions of a variety of asset sizes.
A recording of the call will be available to CUNA members in the coming days. Credit unions interested in learning more about their litigation related options can contact DataBreachLawsuit@cuna.coop.