Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against WSU After Negligent Data Breach

Posted Thursday, March 15, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Someone (or multiple someones) stole confidential information on almost 1.2 million people from Washington State University in April 2017, including Social Security numbers, names, and health records. The incident happened when a burglar broke into an Olympia storage facility and took a safe containing a hard drive on which WSU’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center stored information about state education and career trends.

Victims of this data breach filed a class action lawsuit against WSU in December, alleging negligence and violations of the state Consumer Protection Act. Specifically, the victims claim that it was negligent to store personal information at a self-storage facility with no surveillance cameras, and that the university violated the consumer protection law by not immediately notifying the victims of the breach. The university did not notify the victims until June, almost two months after discovering the theft.*Washington’s Consumer Protection Act*

The Consumer Protection Act protects consumers from unfair and deceptive trade practices. Washington Supreme Court has held that consumers must prove the following in order to succeed on a claim under the CPA:

In establishing these elements, the consumers in the WSU case might also be able to prove negligence - that the university owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused them injury.

*What is a Class Action Lawsuit?*Multiple people injured by the same incident, like the WSU data breach, can file a class action lawsuit. A class action is a type of lawsuit in which a group of people collectively files a claim. Class actions are typically more cost-efficient because litigation costs are divided among a larger group of people. They are also more efficiently judicially. A class action also vests control over litigation decisions in an individual representative or a small group of representatives, which means that not everyone has a say in legal strategy. An experienced attorney can explain the other advantages and disadvantages of filing or joining in on a class action.

There are certain prerequisites for filing a class action lawsuit in Washington:

Consult with an experienced attorney regarding additional prerequisites.

*Contact Us Today*Class action lawsuits are typically complex, which is why you should consult with an experienced attorney before joining or filing a class action. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you are interested in pursuing a class action claim or if your personal information was compromised because of a negligent data breach. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine your best course of legal action.