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CU System
SELCO to appeal dismissal of class action in TJX case
EUGENE, Ore. (3/27/08)--SELCO Community CU has filed a notice of appeal on a federal court's dismissal of a class action lawsuit in the TJX Cos. data breach case. It also has filed a separate complaint in a state court against TJX and its bank, Fifth Third Bank. SELCO Community and AmeriFirst Bank, based in Alabama, are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the U.S. District Court's dismissal of the class action lawsuit, according to Steven L. McIntire, general counsel of the Eugene, Ore.-based credit union. The class action case was dismissed after most of the multiple-party lawsuit settled with TJX Cos. on the costs of replacing the credit and debit cards compromised by the largest data breach in history. Although the notice of appeal has been filed, the actual appeal hasn't been filed yet, McIntire told News Now. The credit union and bank are appealing the court's dismissal of their claims of negligence and breach of contract, as well as the denial of certification as a class action lawsuit, McIntire said. The court also refused the credit union's attempts to amend on conversions and unlawful trade practices. TJX Cos. and Fifth Third have appealed the court's decision to remand the case back to lower court, and that likely will result in a "stay" of other pending cases, which could hold up the credit union's appeal. The credit union has retained a Boston law firm, Whatley, Drake and Kallas to handle the case. A separate lawsuit was filed with the Middlesex County Superior Court in Massachusetts repeating the same claims. "Essentially the state case is mirroring the federal case," McIntire said. SELCO had to replace more than 11,000 Visa and debit cards related to the TJX breach. When the class action case was dismissed in the settlement, "we didn't accept the settlement," McIntire said. "Our position is that we really need to bring national attention to the problem of data breaches and the industry not policing" their data. "Now we're seeing more breaches," he said, citing a Hannaford Bros. grocery chain breach that was disclosed last week. The matter "needs to be addressed through legislation--but that's very difficult--or through lawsuits," he said. In suing, the credit union is thinking "in terms of goals for the overall industry and the big picture, not just the dollars and cents," he added. "We're trying to prevent similar occurrences in the future."
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