Post Breach: Jimmy John’s, Coke Sued

November 18, 2014 – In The News
Bank Info Security

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the Bank Info Security article, “Post Breach: Jimmy John’s, Coke Sued.” Full text can be found in the November 18, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Both Jimmy John’s and Coca-Cola are facing class action lawsuits stemming from claims of fraud and identity theft as a result of recent data breaches suffered by the companies.

According to noted privacy attorney Scott L. Vernick, class action lawsuits stemming from data breaches have not gained much traction in the past because they lacked tangible proof of damages.

“Just because someone alleges they had fraudulent charges doesn't mean they're going to be able to surpass the hurdle,” he said, noting that consumers rarely pay any expenses related to credit card fraud, with card issuers often picking up the expense.

The chances of both lawsuits being successful are slim, according to Vernick.

“Simply alleging you're more prone to identity theft isn't going to cut it,” he says. “In very few instances has someone been able to demonstrate damage or an out-of-pocket loss.”

It can also be difficult to determine whether the lead plaintiffs are truly representative of the class, Vernick says, noting that in the Jimmy John’s case, “even if the [plaintiff] has suffered damages because he was out-of-pocket for five fraudulent charges, that could make a standing for him," but not necessarily a class.