Send in the lawyers (Heartland Payment Systems update)

Over on Computerworld, Jaikumar Vijayan reports that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the Heartland Payment Systems breach:


A Pennsylvania law firm today filed the first class action lawsuit related to the breach. The lawsuit was filed by Chimicles & Tikellis LLP of Haverford, PA on behalf of Alicia Cooper, a resident of Woodbury, MN, and others who might have been affected by the breach.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Trenton, alleges that Cooper, whose card was compromised in the breach, and others, were victims of Heartland’s negligence in protecting card-holder data. The lawsuit, which calls for a jury trial, charged Heartland with breach of contract, breach of implied contract and breach of fiduciary contract for the breach.

Comment: OK, here’s the thing: if the banks reverse the charges so that the individuals have not incurred any actual financial harm, are we back to the situation where courts will throw out the lawsuits because plaintiffs cannot demonstrate “harm?”

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2 comments to “Send in the lawyers (Heartland Payment Systems update)”

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  1. namorcram - January 28, 2009

    Possibly, unless the mootness doctrine of “capable of repetition, yet evading review” applies.

    “A case that no longer presents a live case or controversy is moot, and a federal court lacks jurisdiction to hear the action. Nevertheless, an exception to the mootness doctrine exists where the challenged conduct is capable of repetition, yet evading review. Under this exception, a court may hear an otherwise moot case when (1) the challenged action is of too short a duration to be fully litigated prior to its cessation or expiration, and (2) there is a reasonable expectation that the same complaining party will be subject to the same action again.

    But note that “[t]he capable of repetition yet evading review rule is an extraordinary and narrow exception to the mootness doctrine.”

  2. admin - January 28, 2009

    Interesting point. Thanks.

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