Consumers Seek Worldwide Class in Yahoo Data Breach Case

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By Daniel R. Stoller

Yahoo! Inc. may have to face a worldwide class of consumers complaining about a data breach that exposed more than a billion user accounts ( In re Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litig. , N.D. Cal., No. 16-md-02752, consolidated class complaint filed 4/13/17 ).

In a 71-page consolidated complaint, the named plaintiffs allege that the proposed class “suffered actual harm” as a result of the data breach, including “having false tax returns filed in the their names, having fraudulent charges posted to their credit cards and bank accounts, having their government benefits stolen” and being deluged with spam and other unwanted emails to their Yahoo accounts.

The consolidated complaint asserts claims under the federal Stored Communications Act and California consumer protection laws as well as state breach of contract claims. The complaint alleges that Yahoo failed to update its cybersecurity measures after it learned of vulnerabilities, including incidents as far back as 2003.

The complaint seeks to create a class of Israeli, Venezuelan, Australian, Spanish and U.S. consumers as well as a separate class of small business owners who, the complaint asserts, had to spend thousands of dollars to increase their data security as a result of the breach.

Yahoo is represented by Hunton & Williams LLP and Chapman Spingola LLP. Morgan & Morgan, Milberg LLP, Lockridge Grindall Nauen PLLP, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and Casey Gerry Schenk Fracavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP represent the named plaintiffs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dStoller@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

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