Class Action Lawsuits Filed Against Marriott Following Breach

Things are going from bad to worse for hotel chain Marriott. After the 383 million account breach, class action lawsuits have been filed.

We’ve got an update to a story we brought you back in November. If you remember, Marriott/Starwood Hotels was hit with a massive 500 million account data breach. At the time, the breach briefly made international headlines around the world because of it’s massive size.

Since the initial reports, Marriott downgraded the number to 383 million customers. That, of course, is still a massive number.

Now, reports are surfacing that a class action lawsuit has been filed against the company. The lawsuit was filed by 176 plaintiffs in places including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Already, the hotel chain is facing a similar class action lawsuit in the US. From Gizmodo:

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain operator, has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit over the data breach now believed to affect more than 300 million people. The suit, brought by more than 150 past hotel guests, according to Vox, is at least the second to surface since the breach was disclosed in late November.

Filed in Maryland federal district court on January 9, the massive suit includes plaintiffs in dozens of states where it alleges laws were violated. It accused Marriott of involvement in “deceptive, unconscionable, and substantially injurious practices.” In addition to seeking compensatory damages and other forms of relief deemed appropriate by the court, the suit seeks an injunctive relief to prohibit Marriott from “continuing to engage” in “unlawful acts, omissions, and practices…”

The plaintiffs are represented by five law firms: DiCello Levitt & Casey LLC; Hausfeld LLP; Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC; Cohen & Gresser LLP; and Kramon & Graham PA.

In December, another class action lawsuit was filed against the hotel chain seeking $12.5 billion in damages. From ZDNet:

Hours after announcing a data breach on Friday, two Oregon men sued international hotel chain Marriott for exposing their data. Their lawsuit was followed hours later by another one filed in the state of Maryland.

Both lawsuits are seeking class-action status. While plaintiffs in the Maryland lawsuit didn’t specify the amount of damages they were seeking from Marriott, the plaintiffs in the Oregon lawsuit want $12.5 billion in costs and losses.

This should equate to $25 for each of the 500 million users who had their personal data stolen from Marriott’s servers in the breach announced last week, on Friday.

One thing is for sure, since this is an international breach, it wouldn’t be a surprise if more class action lawsuits have been filed or are going to be filed against the hotel chain. How well the company handles the lawsuits is another question entirely. We are talking about multiple jurisdictions, so there are going to be differences in laws and legal proceedings. So, it’s going to be very difficult to predict at this stage.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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