Home Depot Faces Canadian Breach SuitLatest in Series of Legal Actions Against Retailer
A Canadian class action lawsuit has been filed by Home Depot of Canada Inc., and its American parent, The Home Depot Inc., following the recent disclosure by the home improvement retailer that an estimated 56 million payment cards were exposed in a data breach at its U.S. and Canadian stores (see: Home Depot: 56 Million Cards Breached).
The suit, filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by the law firm McPhadden Samac Tuovi LLP , is seeking $500 million (Canadian) in damages, the law firm says. That's the equivalent of about $450 million in U.S. dollars.
Home Depot already faces a number of other lawsuits, including a class action that was filed in Georgia earlier this month (see: Home Depot Already Faces Breach Lawsuit).
The Canadian lawsuit alleges that Home Depot is guilty of negligence, breach of confidence, breach of privacy, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.
The suit was filed on behalf of Home Depot customers who used a payment card at Home Depot stores in Canada between April and September, the law firm says.
The suit seeks damages to cover a variety of costs, including plaintiffs' losses from their bank accounts as a result of the theft of debit card numbers; fraudulent charges against their credit card accounts; loss of their time spent consulting with legal counsel, banking officials and credit professionals; money spent gathering information about the loss of the confidential information; and money spent attempting to secure personal information.
The lead plaintiff in the Canadian case, Ottawa area resident Steven Lozanski, says about $8,000 was improperly charged against his Visa card in a series of transactions in early September, the law firm says in a release. Lozanski alleges his card was used at a Home Depot store just days before the fraudulent transactions occurred.
During a recent business trip, Lozanski says his credit card was rejected when he tried to register at a hotel, according to the law firm's statement. "Home Depot has not been in contact with me to tell me what personal information has been taken," Lozanski says. "I feel I need to do this for myself and for others so that this kind of thing does not happen again."
The Canadian law firm says one of its primary objectives in the case is "behavior modification" by Home Depot and other retailers. "After the massive data breach of customer information at Target, you would think that other major retailers like Home Depot would have taken steps to make such a breach impossible," says Bryan McPhadden, one of the plaintiff's lawyers.
On Sept. 4, another class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleged that the retailer failed to meet its legal obligation to protect customers' credit card and personal information. It also accuses Home Depot of not notifying its customers about the alleged breach.
The legal action, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges negligence as well as violations of 38 state data breach statutes.
Additionally, First Choice Federal Credit Union in new Castle, Penn., has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of credit unions, banks and other financial institutions to recover losses stemming from the Home Depot breach.
The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and includes more than 100 class members, is seeking more than $5 million in damages.