Kan. AG settles case over allegedly dumped info

By Bryan Cohen | Nov 29, 2011


TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced a settlement on Tuesday with a company that allegedly left thousands of sensitive employee records in an open dumpster in a Wichita alley.

Schmidt entered into a settlement this week with the management corporation for Lone Star Steakhouse, known as LS Management Inc., which will pay $200,000 to the state and take steps to protect employee privacy in the future.

Schmidt's office alleged that on or about March 21, the company threw thousands of employee files containing confidential employee records into unsecured dumpsters in a Wichita alley and that the improper disposal violated federal and state privacy laws. The dumpsters were allegedly either left unsecured overnight or picked up and taken to a recycling company. Many of the files allegedly contained employee records such as social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, credit reports and other personal identifying information.

"Companies that collect sensitive personal information have a legal duty to keep that information secure and to dispose of it properly," Schmidt said. "Dumping records in an open dumpster in an alley does not satisfy that legal duty."

The settlement, which was executed this week, will protect employees by requiring the company to take steps to prevent future privacy law violations. Schmidt's Consumer Protection Division negotiated the settlement, which is the largest of its kind in Kansas history.

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