Class-Action Suit Filed in Computer Security Breach
A class action lawsuit filed this week against the Maricopa Community College District alleges that a computer security breach at the institution exposed personal information of more than two million people. Chad Roberts, who attended one of the ten colleges in the district, and Mark McKee, who took dual enrollment courses at the college while attending Brophy College Preparatory, are named as plaintiffs.
In January 2011, a system hack left unaddressed led to a wider security breach in April 2013. The lawsuit alleges that those affected by the breach in 2013 were not notified until November 2013. The breach affected current and former students as well as staff and vendors as far back as 30 years. Information exposed included banking information, social security numbers and student academic information.
The lawsuit seeks $2,500 on behalf of each plaintiff and claims the district was negligent by failing to protect the personal information of students, staff and vendors. Additional former students and faculty have filed notices of intent to sue as well. The district instituted disciplinary action against several information technology department employees; several employees have since resigned. Two IT staff members say they informed the district in 2011 that the system was hacked, but the district did not act on that report.
District Authorizes Spending
In order to address the incident, the district has authorized $17 million in spending. Of the funds allocated, $10 million will pay for credit monitoring for those that were affected and $7 million will be used to repair and upgrade the computer system. On May 27, the board will vote on whether a property tax increase will be issued with a portion of the revenue going towards improving the computer system. There is no word on how much of the increase will be used to address the lawsuit.
When the negligence of a business or institution is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in an incident that causes injury or damages, a liability lawsuit may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an incident where injury or damage may have been caused or worsened by someone else's negligence. For more information on Frenkel & Frenkel, visit our website at www.FrenkelFirm.com.