Equifax has been hit with another prospective class action lawsuit—this time in Connecticut—by a woman who claims the company’s massive data breach is an invasion of privacy that could lead to identity theft.
West Haven resident Natalie Quagliani filed the suit, one of at least 23 class actions filed against the credit-reporting giant nationwide, in U.S. District Court in Connecticut Tuesday. Court records show that the cyberattack, which occurred from May to late July, provided unauthorized access to personal information, including Social Security numbers, for nearly 44 percent of the population, or about 143 million people.
The prospective class action is for Connecticut residents only.
In the suit, Quagliani said she was told by Equifax that she’s likely a victim of the breach.
“Quagliani and the Class have suffered significant economic damage in that they will almost certainly be required to incur significant costs for the rest of their respective lives,” according to the lawsuit. Those costs includes purchasing credit monetary services or credit repair services from third-party providers.
The lawsuit claims Atlanta-based Equifax was aware of security holes in its cyber defense as early as March. Equifax data was hacked in mid-May and again in July, but the company did not publicly report the breaches until Sept. 7.
“It is deeply troubling that apparently Equifax was seemingly motivated to drag its heels notifying consumers,” the lawsuit continues.
Equifax is accused of willful violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; negligent violation of the FCRA; violation of the Connecticut General Statutes related to the protection of Social Security numbers; failure to provide timely notification of data breach as required by state statutes; unfair trade practices in violation of state statutes; and common-law negligence.
The lawsuit seeks class action status to seek compensatory, punitive, and statutory damages, and attorney fees. The lawsuit also seeks to force Equifax to provide free credit monitoring or free credit repair services.
Quagliani is represented by partners Steven Moore and James Nealon of Withers Bergman in Old Greenwich. Neither Moore nor Nealon responded to a request for comment Thursday.
An Equifax representative said: “We cannot comment on pending litigation, but want to reassure consumers that we are remaining focused on helping them to navigate this situation and providing the best customer support possible. We are listening to issues consumers have experienced and their suggestions, which are helping to further inform our actions as we continue to improve this process.”
The case will be heard in front of Judge Stefan Underhill.