Data breaches put the financial health of California consumers at risk. When criminals breach a database maintained by a retailer or a financial institution, their access to credit card or bank account numbers may subject consumers to fraudulent credit card charges or unauthorized withdrawals. Database breaches that expose other identifying information, including social security numbers and dates of birth, place consumers at risk of identity theft.
About two-thirds of data breaches during 2014 and 2015 affected healthcare organizations or health insurers, exposing patients’ confidential medical information. In addition to businesses, government agencies and educational institutions are regular targets of hackers.
According to the FBI, 12.5% of all cyber crime in 2014 occurred in California. The California Department of Justice reports that 1.5 million Californians were the victims of identity theft in 2014.
If your identifying information or account numbers are stolen in a data breach, you may face harassment from debt collectors for charges you did not make. Identity theft can destroy your credit rating and harm your employability. If someone uses your identity during an arrest, you may end up with a criminal record. Undoing the damage is often an expensive, time-consuming task.
When your private information has been compromised, a class action lawsuit may be your best remedy. The Haeggquist and Eck Firm represents individuals who have been victimized by the unauthorized disclosure of data and by the theft of personal information during a data breach. Contact the California data breach attorneys at The Haeggquist and Eck Firm for a free case evaluation if you discover that a data breach or unauthorized disclosure has placed your credit card number, social security number, or personal identifying information at risk of being misused.
Unintended disclosures of private information occur when sensitive information is mishandled. It might be mistakenly posted to a website or included in emails that are sent to the wrong party. Although electronic data is more often disclosed, paper records containing personal information kept in files can also be stolen or lost.
Less commonly, someone with inside access to private data will deliberately disclose it. Those actions are usually committed by disgruntled employees or outside contractors. California debt collection laws help protect victims in such circumstances.
If you were the victim of an unauthorized data disclosure, The Haeggquist and Eck Firm can help you understand your rights and remedies.
A recent analysis found that most class action lawsuits for data breaches are filed against a few companies involved in well-publicized cases. That may be because only a small percentage of data breaches are publicly reported. Some companies never tell consumers that their data has been compromised. Other companies convey that information quietly and urge consumers to keep the breach confidential.
When individuals become aware that they are the victim of a data breach, their rights can often be vindicated in class action lawsuits. The laws upon which the lawsuits will be based depend on the facts of the case. In some cases, the lawsuit is based on a company’s delay in reporting the breach to the consumer, which deprives the consumer of the ability to take prompt protective action. In some cases, the lawsuit is based on the company’s negligence in failing to guard against the breach. Other cases are based on a breach of the contract between the company and the consumer. Lawsuits may also be based upon violations of:
The Haeggquist and Eck Firm can evaluate your case and advise you about the laws that give you the best chance of obtaining a class action remedy if your private information was disclosed or stolen. Victims can call (619) 342-8000 to obtain a free case evaluation from our experienced data breach lawyers in Orange County.
Haeggquist & Eck, LLP’s class action law attorneys in San Diego offer free case evaluations to help you understand how we can assist you with your claim. Contact us online or call (619) 342-8000 for more information.
Class actions are based on the idea that there is strength in numbers. They allow individuals to file lawsuits to challenge unfair, unsafe, or illegal practices. While the prospect of a class action may seem overwhelming to a single person, this type of suit can successfully reform or stop unfair practices more successfully than an individual claim could.
Class actions have been used to promote civil rights, consumer rights, employee rights, the right to fair housing, the right to medical care, and are also used to fight securities fraud and antitrust violations. They have advanced the rights of people injured by defective or harmful products like cigarettes, defective tires, defective vehicles, asbestos, Agent Orange, breast implants, and many others. Often, class actions help the government enforce laws, make business practices safer, keep unfair business practices in check, and compensates consumers or investors for the harm they suffered at the hands of corporations.
Various laws are in place to protect your rights as a consumer or investor to prevent businesses or other entities from injuring you or treating you unfairly. The government, however, clearly does not have the resources to monitor every action every business takes and to enforce all of those laws.
Inadvertently or deliberately, a business or other entity may violate a law or contract or act in a way that it is unfair, illegal, or unsafe for the public. It may be on such a small scale on the individual level that the violation goes unchecked, but the same violation can be constantly taking place and affecting dozens or millions of people. Corporations may not correct a wrong voluntarily where doing so is expensive, unprofitable or embarrassing, which is a classic situation that can lead to a class action lawsuit. If you recognize a situation like this, reach out to our class action law attorneys at Haeggquist & Eck, LLP today for help!
If you’re bringing a class action lawsuit forward, it won’t cost you anything to do so because such cases are brought by attorneys working on a contingency fee basis. This means that attorneys do not get paid unless the lawsuit is successful. The attorneys advance the money and time needed for the lawsuit on behalf of the representative and the class. If the class action is successful, the attorneys apply to the court for an award of their fees and reimbursement of expenses. It is up to the court to determine the fee, and the attorneys alone risk the possibility of not getting paid.
Only one representative is required to bring a class action. A class representative is typically an individual or a company that believes it has been wronged, realizes that others are being injured similarly, wants the offending practice to end, and wants to be compensated with the other members of the class for monetary damages. A class representative is one of the named or “lead” plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
An individual or entity that feels it has been wronged and realizes that others are likely being injured as well should contact class action law attorneys in San Diego, like ours at Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, who have a lot of experience handling class actions. Our team will meet with that person and then examine the matter to determine the best course of action based on our evaluation of the merits of the case. If we decide to go forward in filing the class action, the individual or group would act as the class representative. We would then bring the lawsuit forward in the person’s name and on behalf of a defined class of similarly situated persons.
The class representative does not need to pay any money to bring the suit, but they may have to provide paperwork and background information that’s relevant to the case. Over the course of the lawsuit, the representative may have to answer questions about the case, which includes sitting for a deposition. The representative would be guided and assisted in these matters by his or her class action law attorneys in San Diego. During the course of the lawsuit, the representative will be periodically called upon to assist in the suit and help make all major case decisions with the advice of their lawyers. If the suit is successful, the representative generally receives extra compensation (with court approval) for their time and contribution.
After the attorneys thoroughly investigate the facts and examine the law that will correct the wrong, a letter may be sent to the alleged wrongdoers to try and obtain the desired relief without litigation. If the law firm decides to proceed with litigation, it will file a lawsuit with the representative as lead plaintiff.
San Diego class action law attorneys will then ask the court to certify the suit as a class action, and if the case meets the legal requirements, the court will certify the case and it will move forward. As appropriate and with the representative’s authorization, the attorneys may negotiate with the opposing counsel to obtain a reasonable compromise or settlement for the class. Although every case is different, it typically takes several years to achieve a successful resolution to a class action lawsuit.