Motley Rice has filed a civil complaint on behalf of all consumers affected by a massive cyber security breach at Equifax that compromised Social Security numbers and other personal information for as many as 143 million Americans.
The complaint, filed Sept. 11, 2017 in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, alleges that Equifax failed to ensure that adequate safety measures were in place to protect consumers and the most sensitive identifying information.
“Equifax failed to prevent sensitive, private information from falling into the hands of criminals, affecting the everyday lives of millions of Americans,” said Motley Rice attorney Jodi Westbrook Flowers. Flowers has experience representing people whose personal information has been breached and holds a leadership position as co-liaison counsel of the 21st Century Oncology data breach litigation Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
“All those affected must now live with the constant threat of having their personal, confidential, financial data stolen. Equifax’s only option is to accept full responsibility and make this right with consumers and the public. Until then, we will defend our clients’ rights to the full extent of the law,” Flowers said.
Equifax first discovered the breach on July 29, though it occurred between mid-May and July, according to a statement released by the company last week. Hackers allegedly were able to access the sensitive information through a vulnerability on the company’s website. Compromised data included credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers and other information that could be used to facilitate cybercrimes, including identity theft.
“Those who trust that information to Equifax have a right to expect that it uses the best possible information security infrastructure and practices. Unfortunately for nearly half of the nation’s population, that appears not to have been the case,” the suit alleges.
When the breach was first made public, more than a month after it was discovered, Equifax offered to provide free credit monitoring services for affected consumers, but included an arbitration clause requiring that they waive jury trial or class action upon registration. The company has since backed away from the clause under pressure from various public interest groups.
To determine whether you may have been affected, visit Equifax online.
Motley Rice attorneys are reviewing the breach, the extent of harm caused, and how it could have been avoided. If you believe your personal information was compromised by Equifax, you may contact Motley Rice attorney Jodi Westbrook Flowers at 1-800-768-4026 or by email.
Read the civil complaint.
Read more about steps to take to protect yourself if you’ve been affected.