Abbott makes his case against CVS

AUSTIN -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's dogged department of dumpster-divers has landed him another big lawsuit. And once again the suit is against a major retailer for not securing its customers' identities by carelessly disposing its records. Abbott yesterday announced his office had sued pharmacy chain CVS for violating a 2005 Texas law requiring businesses to "properly dispose of documents" containing sensitive information like payment card numbers. He charges that CVS employees threw bulk copies of customer records containing identifying information into a dumpster behind a CVS store in Liberty, near San Antonio, that was being vacated. Investigators from Abbott's office found copies of old sales receipts containing active credit card and debit card information in the dumpsters. They also found several prescriptions for CVS customers that held personal and medical information. "We will continue aggressively cracking down on vendors who jeopardize the confidentiality of their clients' sensitive information," Abbott stated yesterday. The attorney general's announcement on CVS comes two weeks after Abbott launched a similar suit against Fort Worth-based electronics retailer RadioShack, LegalNewsLine reported. As in the CVS case, the attorney general accused RadioShack of allowing employees of a Portland, Texas store to dump identifying customer documents into a backyard bin. Abbott also sued a modeling agency and a beauty college for similar offenses last month. Abbott has charged CVS, owned by Rhode Island-based CVS/Caremark Corp., of violating Texas's 2005 Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act. It carries maximum penalties of $50,000 per violation. He also charged breaches of Chapter 35 of the state's Business and Commerce Code, which allows for maximum penalties of $500 per abandoned record. Abbott has leveled the same two charges against RadioShack. The attorney general's suits against both companies seek court costs as well as fines.

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