Judge Rejects Key Defense in Anthem Data-Breach Suits

Ross Todd reports:

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s first major ruling in data-breach lawsuits against major health insurer Anthem Inc. didn’t do much to clarify how the litigation itself will ultimately play out.


In her decision, Koh addressed for the first time the question of whether the loss of personal information constitutes harm under New York’s General Business Law, a consumer protection law similar to California’s Unfair Competition Law. It does, she ruled, rejecting arguments from Anthem and its lawyers at Hogan Lovells and expanding reasoning she has applied in at least one earlier data-breach case.


Koh’s ruling in In Re Anthem Data Breach Litigation builds on the Adobe decision. Like in Adobe, Koh recognized that the theft of personal identification information is a harm to consumers in itself separate from any subsequent misuse of it.

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