Connectivity

AT&T data breach cases will play out in Texas

More than 70 million people’s personal information was leaked on the dark web. The class action lawsuits abound.
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Everything’s bigger in Texas, as they say, including—apparently—data breach litigation.

The Lone Star State will host a consolidated 30 lawsuits over AT&T’s dark-web data breach, which affected more than 7 million current customers and 65 million former account-holders.

The consumer-protection claims against the telecom giant have been piling up across the country since March, when details about the leak first became public. The June 5 decision to handle all the lawsuits in the same venue, the Northern District of Texas, comes from a class-action management body aimed at streamlining similar claims.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) found that the cases all “involve common questions of fact” that would be most conveniently decided in Dallas, where AT&T’s headquarters is located.

“Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to class certification and expert witness issues; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary,” the JPML wrote.

The lawsuits are expected to explore “how and when the breach occurred, AT&T’s data security practices with respect to safeguarding personal information, the investigation into the breach, the alleged delay in disclosing the breach, and the nature of any alleged damages,” according to the panel.

Keep up with the innovative tech transforming business

Tech Brew keeps business leaders up-to-date on the latest innovations, automation advances, policy shifts, and more, so they can make informed decisions about tech.