Barnes & Noble Turns Page Again as Data Breach Class Suit Nixed

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By Jimmy H. Koo

Compromised payment card PIN pads at Barnes & Noble Inc. stores didn’t sufficiently injure customers to sustain a class action, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held June 13 ( In re Barnes & Noble Pin Pad Litig. , N.D. Ill., No. 1:12-cv-08617, 6/13/17 ).

Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries to the value of their personally identifiable information or any emotional distress stemming from the breach weren’t sufficient injuries, the court held.

Dismissing the second amended complaint, Judge Andrea R. Wood said it would be futile to give the plaintiffs another chance to amend their complaint.

The case stemmed from a 2012 data breach that revealed tampering of the personal identification number pads used to process payment card transactions at 63 of Barnes & Noble’s nationwide stores—nearly 9 percent of the stores in the chain. The hackers tampered with the credit card PIN pads to allow them to skim customers’ credit and debit card information.

The court dismissed the class suit in October 2016, concluding the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege any loss of money or property. “There must be ‘actual damages’ to state a claim,” the court held.

Dismissing the suit, the court also found that the alleged temporary inability of the plaintiffs to use their bank accounts wasn’t a monetary injury in itself, and was insufficient to state a claim.

Dicello Levitt & Casey LLC, Siprut PC, and Grant & Eisenhofer PA represented the plaintiffs. Arnold & Porter LLP and Baugher Dispute Resolution LLC represented Barnes & Noble.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at

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