Equifax Inc. is facing another proposed class action lawsuit stemming from the massive data breach that put approximately 143 million consumers’ data at risk, after a Delaware man on Monday sued on behalf of consumers whose personal information had been compromised.
The consumer class action, filed by Jason Melrath in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, was yet another in a string of suits that target Equifax over the breach. As of Monday, Delaware Law Weekly affiliate the New York Law Journal reported, more than 70 class actions had been filed.
But while other suits in Georgia and New York have accused the credit reporting agency of breaking securities laws, the Delaware complaint focuses on Equifax’s alleged negligence and failure to protect sensitive consumer information, like Social Security numbers, birth dates and credit card numbers.
The breakdown, Melrath said, had placed affected consumers at a greater risk of identity theft and fraud.
“Equifax’s wrongful actions and inactions directly and proximately caused the theft and dissemination into the public domain of plaintiff’s and the class members’ [personally identifiable information], causing them to suffer, and continue to suffer, economic damages and other actual harm for which they are entitled to compensation,” Melrath’s Dilworth Paxson attorneys wrote in the 20-page complaint, which seeks damages for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act.
Equifax, which is incorporated in Georgia, publicly revealed the breach on Sept. 7, more than a week after the company discovered that hackers had gained access to its U.S.-based servers. It has since come under fire from a contingent of state attorneys general, who have expressed concern over how the company has treated customers who have sought to safeguard their credit histories. The Federal Trade Commission has also said that it would launch a probe into the matter.