Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 5, 2015, 12:45pm



ST. PAUL, Minn. (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge says a class action lawsuit against Target for alleged data breaches can proceed.




Judge Paul A. Magnuson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota -- where dozens of lawsuits have been transferred to -- mostly sided with the 114 plaintiffs in his Dec. 18 ruling.




 




Target asked the court to dismiss the class action complaint filed against it by consumers, arguing that the plaintiffs do not have standing to raise any of their claims because they cannot establish injury.




 




But Magnuson, in his 46-page order, said the plaintiffs have alleged injury.




 




“Indeed, paragraphs 1.a through 1.g and 8 through 94 of the complaint are a recitation of many of the individual named Plaintiffs’ injuries, including unlawful charges, restricted or blocked access to bank accounts, inability to pay other bills, and late payment charges or new card fees,” the judge wrote.




 




“Target ignores much of what is pled, instead contending that because some Plaintiffs do not allege that their expenses were unreimbursed or say whether they or their bank closed their accounts, Plaintiffs have insufficiently alleged injury.




 




“These arguments gloss over the actual allegations made and set a too-high standard for Plaintiffs to meet at the motion-to-dismiss stage.”




 




The case arises out of one of the largest breaches of payment-card security in the United States’ retail history.




 




Between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013 -- the peak of the year’s holiday shopping season -- computer hackers stole credit- and debit-card information and other personal information for about 110 million Target customers.




 




Many of the plaintiffs, in their lawsuits, have alleged the retail store failed to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature and scope of the information compromised in the data breach.




 




In April, lawsuits from 18 federal courts were transferred to the Multidistrict Litigation Panel and assigned to Magnuson.




 




The Minnesota federal court was chosen because it is easily accessible and relatively centrally located for the parties to the litigation.




 




Since the panel transferred 27 civil actions to the court, nearly 50 additional actions have been transferred, all of which have been assigned to Magnuson.




 




While the judge for the most part sided with consumers in his order last month, he did dismiss their claim of Target’s alleged breach of contract.




 




He also dismissed the plaintiffs’ negligence claims under Alaska, California, Iowa and Massachusetts law.




 




In addition, he ruled the plaintiffs cannot maintain a class action lawsuit in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.




 




From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.


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