N.H. law firm joins many others in suing Equifax over huge data breach

Monitor staff
Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Concord law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Equifax over its massive data breach, joining dozens of lawsuits from shareholders, consumers, state governments and even a credit union.

The firm of Douglas, Leonard and Garvey said Friday it has filed a 36-page complaint in U.S. District Court in Concord, using Merrimack County plaintiffs “who have gone on to the Equifax website and have been told that their information ‘may have been impacted by this incident.’ ”

It’s not clear how many people had their data stored by Equifax stolen during the hack, although it appears to be as many as 143 million Americans. Some estimate that more than 600,000 New Hampshire residents could be affected.

Equifax gathers data about financial transactions. Its breach, which occurred in May and June but was only announced this month, exposed sensitive information, including Social Security and driver’s license numbers. That kind of data can be used for identity theft and to create fake accounts for credit cards, bank loans and other material.

Among those who have sued Equifax is Wisconsin-based Summit Credit Union, which is believed to be the first U.S. financial institution to sue over the security failure. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for anticipated costs from coping with fraudulent accounts that are likely to be created with the stolen data.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has joined many other state attorneys general in telling Equifax to change its procedures in light of the breach.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313, dbrooks@cmonitor.com, or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)