Sanford Heisler Sharp Takes on Equifax in Tennessee

Posted September 12th, 2017.

FIRM FILES ITS SECOND DATA BREACH AND PRIVACY CLASS ACTION AGAINST EQUIFAX WITHIN A WEEK 

NASHVILLE, Sept. 12, 2017 — Add one more complaint to the self-inflicted trouble mounting against Equifax, Inc. Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP has filed a class action complaint against the consumer credit reporting agency in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

The Tennessee class action complaint closely follows the firm’s filing in the Southern District of San Diego on Friday, September 8.

The public interest firm, known for taking on corporate America, filed suit on behalf of Tennessee resident Sean J. Martin and the approximately 143 million other U.S. consumers whose Equifax consumer credit files were hacked in mid-May through July this year.

The Sanford Heisler Sharp team is led by Kevin Sharp, managing partner of the Nashville office.

The Complaint asserts Equifax learned on July 29 that unauthorized individuals had accessed its database — including the names, social security numbers, addresses and other personally identifiable information of its customers – but did not notify customers about the breach until September 7.

“Equifax has a long history of data breaches going back to 2013.   The company should have rectified its processes and bolstered its security to ensure there were no further breaches,” said Sharp. “Equifax did not employ even the basic standard of care in protecting the highly sensitive information of their customers.”

A former chief judge for the federal district court in the Middle District of Tennessee, Sharp noted that consumers whose identifying information was released will now have to monitor their credit and employ other safety and security services for years to come or place credit freezes or fraud alerts on their files in order to protect themselves from the destructive effects of identity theft, all at their own expense.

While timely notification is standard practice once a breach occurs and is required by most states, the complaint notes that Equifax took no action to inform consumers of the data breach for over a month. “Waiting more than a month to notify consumers that they were at enormous risk potentially inflicted further damage on consumers,” added Sharp.

At the same time Equifax was sitting on its notification plans, three of the company’s senior executives sold shares worth $1.8 million within days of discovering the massive hack.

In addition to Plaintiff Sean Martin, two classes are included in the action. The “nationwide class” comprises all persons residing in the U.S. whose personal data Equifax collected and stored and whose personal information was placed at risk and/or disclosed in the recent breach. The “Tennessee class” comprises all persons residing in Tennessee in a similar situation.

The class action seeks actual and statutory damages, equitable relief, restitution, reimbursement of out-of-pocket losses, other compensatory damages, credit monitoring services with identity theft insurance, and injunctive relief – including an order that requires Equifax to improve its data security and eliminate future privacy breaches.

In its 13-year history, Sanford Heisler Sharp has successfully represented thousands of individuals and tens of thousands of class members in suits against American corporations and institutions, including Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Omnicare, Amgen, Office Depot, AT&T, Energy Plus, Cracker Barrel, Google, Sanofi, Qualcomm, General Electric, Sedgwick, Daiichi, Publicis, Alcon, Smith & Nephew, Medtronic, IKON, San Diego State University and many others.

About Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is a public interest class-action litigation law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C, Nashville, San Francisco, and San Diego. Our attorneys have graduated from the nation’s top law schools, clerked for judges throughout the United States, and amassed extensive experience litigating cases that have earned over one billion dollars for our clients.

The Firm specializes in civil rights and general public interest cases, representing plaintiffs with employment discrimination, labor and wage violations, predatory lending, whistleblower, consumer fraud, and other claims. Along with a focus on class actions, the firm also represents individuals and has achieved particular success in the representation of executives and attorneys in employment disputes. For more information go to https://sanfordheisler.com/ or call 202 499-5200 or email dsanford@sanfordheisler.com.

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