MINNEAPOLIS (7/23/14)--In response to Target Corp.'s attempt to delay discovery in multidistrict litigation regarding last year's data security breach, plaintiffs filed a joint memorandum opposing Target's request.
Earlier this month, the retail giant requested a stay of discovery for the multidistrict litigation, citing a desire to wait until rulings are made on motions to dismiss the class-action lawsuits brought by consumers and financial institutions. This could push discovery until as late as November.
"Given the burden that discovery regarding potentially moot questions would impose on the parties and this court, good cause exists for continuing the discovery stay for a few months until the motions to dismiss can be resolved," the retailer said (Law360 July 3).
However, last week, plaintiffs fought the attempted delay of discovery with a joint memorandum filed in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota. "Fact discovery should begin and should not be delayed," the memorandum says, adding that "federal courts disfavor staying discovery while a motion to dismiss is pending, and here, Target has not met its burden of demonstrating that its anticipated motion to dismiss will resolve all claims in its favor."
The memo adds, "Target's arguments that Financial Institution Plaintiffs' claims will be dismissed and that Consumer Plaintiffs lack standing are premature and incorrect. Neither argument warrants a stay of discovery. Accordingly, this Court should deny Target's Motion."
Financial institution plaintiffs' consolidated complaint will be filed Aug. 1, and Aug. 25 is the due date to file the consumer plaintiffs' consolidated complaint.
In May, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said "big, long, indefinite stays" for the class-action lawsuits would not be appropriate (News Now May 19).
Target revealed Dec. 19 that about 40 million debit and credit card numbers were compromised as was the personal information of as many as 70 million customers.
A survey by the Credit Union National Association found that credit unions incurred $30.6 million in costs directly related to the breach--not including fraud costs. CUNA is pressing federal lawmakers to address data security relative to merchants, who are not held to the same standards of security as credit unions and other financial institutions.