Lawsuit alleges breach was caused by Capital One’s inadequate approach to data security; urges those affected to join the investigation
MIAMI (Aug. 16, 2019) – The Miami-based law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson has filed a class action lawsuit against Capital One Financial Corporation for negligence in failing to safeguard consumers’ personal information in relation to the bank’s recent massive data breach, which exposed the information of approximately 100 million consumers.
The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of plaintiffs Maria de Lourdes Tester (Miami) and Tracy Elizabeth Masi (Virginia Beach), alleges that Capital One failed to exercise reasonable care in securing consumers’ personal information, failed to prevent the data breach and failed to detect the breach for approximately three months.
According to the FBI, due to Capital One’s faulty firewalls, hacker Paige Thompson was able to access the bank’s cloud repository on or around March 2019, gathering the personal information of approximately 100 million consumers. Thompson in-turn posted the information on her GitHub account on April 21, 2019, making the information available to the public for further exploit.
According to the complaint, Capital One did not make the data breach known to the public until July 29, 2019, and the information remained exposed until at least July 17, 2019 when Capital One received a tip from an unidentified tipster.
The complaint asserts that the data breach was caused by Capital One’s inadequate approach to data security and protection of personal information, noting the deficiencies in Capital One’s data security and firewall were so significant that the firewall permitted access to any consumer or small business that applied for one of Capital One’s credit card products through early 2019 – approximately 14 years of data left unprotected and exposed for any malicious actor to access, download and exploit.
“Capital One was reckless and completely disregarded the rights of consumers by failing to implement and maintain adequate data security measures and therefore exposed information to criminals for misuse,” said Lewis S. Mike Eidson, co-counsel for the plaintiffs. “Through this lawsuit, we hope to prevent a reoccurrence of a similar data breach, which has caused tremendous grief and compromised the financial standing and credit scores for so many.”
According to the complaint, as a result of the bank’s massive data breach, the plaintiffs suffered theft of personal information, costs associated with the detection and prevention of identity theft and unauthorized use of financial accounts, inability to use debit or credit card accounts because accounts were suspended or rendered unusable as a result of fraudulent charges; inability to withdraw or access funds, including missed bill and loan payments, incurred late payment charges and lowered credit scores, among other costs associated with spending time to address and mitigate the consequences of the data breach.
Colson Hicks Eidson filed the class action lawsuit along with co-counsel Virginia Beach-based Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, PLLC. The case is Maria de Lourdes Tester and Tracy Elizabeth Masi v. Capital One Financial Corporation, No. 3:19-cv-579, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
For more information on this lawsuit, contact Mike Eidson at 305-476-7400.
ABOUT COLSON HICKS EIDSON
The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with more than 50 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation, and arbitration. Members of the firm have been involved in some of the country’s most high-profile and landmark cases resulting in impactful and precedential rulings. A mid-size firm with a diverse staff comprised of more than 50 percent women and minorities, Colson Hicks Eidson prides itself on a track record of developing future leaders within the legal profession and its civic and community involvement. Members of the firm have held notable positions serving on the boards of prominent institutions, such as the State University System of Florida and the Florida State Board of Education, and holding high-ranking offices, including President of the 60,000-member American Association for Justice; President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; President of the Dade County Bar Association; President of the Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Chairman of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.