Asheville-Based Law Firm Files Class Action Lawsuit in Response to Equifax Data Breach

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Burt Langley PC (Asheville, North Carolina) and Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC (Nashville, Tennessee) have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Terra Weaver, David Le and similarly situated individuals affected by the Equifax data breach that was disclosed on Sept. 7, 2017.

The suit was filed Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Asheville.

Earlier this month, Equifax, one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, announced it was the victim of a large cyberattack that exposed potentially 143 million Americans’ sensitive private and financial information. Since then, Equifax has also disclosed that the cyber vulnerability exploited by hackers was related to Apache Struts, an open-source software program that is used throughout the corporate world to power front- and back-end web applications, including Equifax’s public website. According to the lawsuit, the Apache Software Foundation, proprietors of the Apache Struts software, had identified a vulnerability in its application in March and promptly issued a patch that would mitigate the vulnerability to cyberattackers.

The lawsuit further alleges that:

  • Despite it being widely available, Equifax failed to incorporate the security patch into its website software, leading to a known vulnerability on Equifax’s servers that allowed cyberattackers to exploit the vulnerability for several weeks;
  • Equifax’s actions were negligent, allowed hackers to gain access to sensitive customer information, and also violated federal law;
  • Although Equifax knew of the vulnerability in July, it waited until September to disclose the data breach, despite many state statutes, including one in North Carolina that requires prompt disclosure to affected individuals of known data breaches; and
  • Equifax’s failure to alert affected individuals in a timely manner was a violation of North Carolina and Georgia state laws.

The lawsuit demands judgment against Equifax for damages resulting from the data breach and seeks injunctive relief requiring the company to improve its data security methods.

“Equifax’s conduct appears particularly egregious as it held sensitive information on millions of Americans and apparently failed to have even the most basic data security measures in place to guard against the theft of that material,” says Katherine Langley, co-founder of Burt Langley PC. “This conduct has caused — and will continue to cause — great harm to millions of people, and we look forward to having our opportunity to use the court system to right this wrong perpetrated by Equifax allowing cybercriminals to gain access to its data systems.”

Similar class action lawsuits have been filed across the country since Equifax disclosed the data breach earlier this month. A federal judicial panel will soon decide whether to consolidate all of these actions within a single venue.

About Burt Langley PC (www.burtlangley.com)

Burt Langley PC provides protective legal services to businesses and individuals in Western North Carolina. The firm offers a wide range of services, including business contracts and transactions, civil forfeiture, commercial and contract litigation, corporate formation, employment law, employment litigation, estate administration and probate, estate planning, family law, guardianships and incompetency actions, legal malpractice, LGBT legal services, and will contests.

About Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC (www.bsjfirm.com)   

For more than 65 years, Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC has been known for the quality of its advocacy and the integrity of its attorneys. The firm enjoys a national reputation of prominence in the complex litigation arena for its work in class actions, shareholder derivative claims, securities, ERISA, labor and employment, and other complex cases, both at the trial and appellate levels.

Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC is dedicated to providing a full range of legal services to its diverse clientele. In addition to providing quality legal services, the firm is proud of the professional and civic leadership its members have provided, both locally and nationally. The firm’s former managing partner, Jane Branstetter Stranch, was nominated by President Obama to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and now serves as a judge on that court following her confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and was recently named among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, receiving the highest possible Nashville ranking as a Tier 1 in two practice areas.

 

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