DALLAS, Oct. 27, 2017 — Complaints were filed on September 19, 2017, in federal district courts in Mississippi and Texas as the result of a data breach at Equifax, Inc., and Equifax Information Services, LLC, providers of credit reporting services and collectors and compilers of sensitive and confidential personal financial information for hundreds of millions of American consumers and businesses. The lawsuit, brought by Samantha Woods and Joshua Woods, on behalf of all persons whose personal information may have been stolen, alleges that:
- Equifax breached its duty to use reasonable care to protect sensitive credit and financial information
- Equifax willfully violated the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Equifax engaged in negligent violation of the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
The complaint seeks declaratory relief, asking that the court require Equifax to implement and maintain reasonable security measures. The complaint also asks for compensatory and punitive damages.
The actions filed in Texas and Mississippi have been filed as class actions. Accordingly, the plaintiffs have asked the court to certify a class of similarly situated individuals.
Your Rights in a Class Action
A class action is a special type of lawsuit that allows parties with similar claims to pool resources and consolidate claims, so that multiple cases don’t have to be prosecuted simultaneously in jurisdictions across the country. In a class action, all parties who qualify for the class are collectively represented by a single member of that class. The total losses of all class members are consolidated into that one proceeding and any damages recovered are allocated to all qualified class members.
A class action offers a number of advantages over traditional litigation:
- Class action litigation typically reduces the overall costs of litigation
- A class action can allow parties with smaller damage amounts to participate and receive some type of damage award, without incurring the costs of a separate lawsuit
- A class action can provide the impetus to change wrongful practices
- A class action avoids the problems that arise when different courts return different verdicts
The lawsuits were filed by Stephen C. Maxwell, of the Bailey & Galyen Law Firm in Bedford and Fort Worth and Shane F. Langston, of Langston & Langston, PLLC, in Southlake, Texas.