ATLANTA (1/16/15)--Today, the first procedural hearing begins in the case that will determine whether Home Depot was at fault for the data breach that hit its stores last summer, a breach resulting in nearly $60 million in costs to credit unions to reissue cards, grapple with fraud and cover other costs.
An initial case management conference has been called this morning by Chief Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr., according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle (Jan. 14). The litigation will play out in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta, the city in which Home Depot's headquarters reside.
Nine credit unions are among the 44 plaintiffs to lodge lawsuits against the home improvement retail giant since it admitted to the breach in September (Atlanta Business Chronicle Jan. 14), and more than 30 of those suits have been consolidated into one court action.
In general, the lawsuits allege Home Depot failed to comply with security standards and to protect the personal and payment data of its customers.
Thrash has asked attorneys representing the plaintiffs to arrive to court prepared to "suggest procedures that will facilitate the just, speedy and inexpensive resolution to this litigation."
The Credit Union National Association, which compiled comprehensive data in the aftermath of the breach that revealed how great the impact was on credit unions nationwide, continues to press lawmakers on the issue of ratcheting up payment data security standards for merchants.
Merchants aren't held to the same strict standards that financial institutions must adhere to, yet the cost of these breaches are unfairly and disproportionately carried by financial institutions, according to CUNA's leaders.