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Hannaford judge questions Maine Supreme Court
PORTLAND, Maine (12/2/09)--True to his word, a federal judge has asked the Maine Supreme Court to decide whether consumers affected by the Hannaford Bros. grocery chain data breach, and who have been reimbursed, are entitled to damages. U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby last week submitted questions to the state's highest court asking the court to consider whether Maine consumers reimbursed by their financial institutions and credit card companies for losses in the breach are entitled to seek damages for the time and effort they spent straightening out their accounts, according to the Bangor Daily News and WGME.com (Dec. 1). Hornby had indicated in October that he would seek input from the state Supreme Court because the question has no precedent in Maine (News Now Oct. 8) after lawyers for the plaintiffs asked him to reconsider his dismissal of the class-action lawsuit that sought compensation for consumers from Hannaford Bros. Attorneys for Hannaford argued that existing consumer protection laws and the system of contracts among merchants, banks and credit unions, and consumers are adequate protection. Millions of credit cards were exposed to fraud during the breach, which was one of the largest in history and which occurred in late 2007 and early 2008. At least 1,800 of the numbers stolen during the breach were used for fraudulent purchases.
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