Marriott Hotels Faces Another Class Action Lawsuit Over Data Breach

Starwood/Marriott Hotels is facing another class action lawsuit. This time, the lawsuit is being filed in Calgary, Canada. Plaintiffs are seeking $100 Million.

We have an update to a story we brought you back in 2018. Last year, the hotel giant got hit with a massive data breach. At the time, the breach weighed in at a stunning 500 million accounts. Since then, that number has been downgraded to 383 million accounts.

In January, the hotel giant faced multiple class action lawsuits from multiple jurisdictions. One lawsuit was filed by 176 plaintiffs from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. A second lawsuit was also filed in Oregon where two men were seeking $12.5 billion in damages.

Now, it seems that the legal problems are not limited to those lawsuits. In Calgary, Alberta, a class action lawsuit was filed. The suit is seeking $100 million in damages. From The Edmonton Journal:

The massive data hack of guest information from the Marriott hotel empire has triggered a $100-million class action lawsuit in Calgary.

A statement of claim filed in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench says the data breach in which hackers accessed records on as many as 500 million hotel guests was due to the chain’s lack of adequate security.

“The defendants knew or ought to have known that their databases were vulnerable to loss or theft,” says the claim, filed by Calgary lawyer Clint Docken and Edmonton counsel James Brown.

It says the company operates approximately 6,900 properties under 30 hotel brands, including Starwood hotels, in 130 countries and territories.

The timing of this is pretty interesting. This is because there is some movement over whether or not the Canadian privacy commissioner has enough power to hold companies accountable whenever personal information is being misused. As Michael Geist pointed out earlier, the commissioner, at best, can haul companies to court and have the court issue a maximum of $100,000 in a fine. That, for many large corporations, could be considered a rounding error in their bottom line.

Of course, it is worth pointing out that this lawsuit isn’t coming from regulators in the first place. The question is, will this lawsuit go ahead? Could Marriott simply settle out of court to make this suit go away? Will a court even hear a lawsuit like this? Could something like this set an interesting precedent? Either way, this raises the possibility that if there is a significant breach of personal information, citizens could more or less be on their own if they want remediation.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.