Hannaford Brothers Co. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation
Berger Montague filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine in 2008 on behalf of all consumers whose credit card or debit card data was stolen from the computer network of Hannaford Brothers Co. (“Hannaford”) supermarkets.
The complaint alleged that Hannaford was negligent for failing to maintain adequate data security of customer credit and debit card data, which was accessed and stolen by computer hackers. The breach began on December 7, 2007 and was not contained until March 10, 2008.
The complaint alleged that 4.2 million unique credit and debit card numbers had been exposed to potential fraud. There were at least 1,800 cases of reported credit and debit card fraud stemming from the breach.
Class members had their personal financial information compromised, had been exposed to the risk of fraud, and had incurred time to monitor their accounts and dispute fraudulent charges.
Several class actions were filed by different law firms. The cases were consolidated into a single proceeding in the District of Maine. On July 25, 2008, the Court appointed Murray, Plumb & Murray and Lewis Saul & Associates as Co-Lead Counsel for the Class. Berger Montague provided assistance to Co-Lead Counsel on various litigation matters.
On May 12, 2009, the Court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss, on grounds that Class members did not suffer compensable damages. Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal. The appellate court ruled in Plaintiffs’ favor, holding that mitigation costs such as credit monitoring services and replacement fees for new credit cards may be compensable. Anderson v. Hannaford Bros. Co., 659 F.3d 151, 167 (1st Cir. 2011). That ruling serves as important precedent in data breach litigation.
In light of that ruling, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint on June 11, 2012. The Court subsequently denied Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. The case was then voluntarily dismissed.
To view a copy of the Second Amended Complaint, click here.