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Home Depot data breach lawsuits rise to 44 | Business

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Home Depot data breach lawsuits rise to 44
Business, News
Home Depot data breach lawsuits rise to 44

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- The number of lawsuits facing Home Depot from its data breach has risen to at least 44, the company reported Tuesday.

In its third quarter report, The Home Depot Inc. gave investors an outline of the tsunami of litigation that's rolling toward the home improvement giant related to the data breach.

The company said it believes it's probable that payment card networks will make claims against it:

"In order for the company to have liability for such claims, the company believes it would have to be determined, among other things, that (1) at the time of the data breach the portion of the company's network that handles payment card data was noncompliant with applicable data security standards, and (2) the alleged noncompliance caused at least some portion of the compromise of payment card data that occurred during the data breach. Although an independent third-party assessor found the portion of the company's network that handles payment card data to be compliant with applicable data security standards in the fall of 2013, the process of obtaining such certification for 2014 was ongoing at the time of the data breach and the forensic investigator working on behalf of the payment card networks may claim that the company was not in compliance with those standards at the time of the data breach. As a result, the company believes it is probable that the payment card networks will make claims against it and that the company will dispute those claims. When those claims are asserted, the company will have to determine, based on the facts and information then available to it, whether to litigate or seek to settle those claims. At this time, the company believes it is probable that the claims will be asserted and that settlement negotiations will ensue, and believes that a loss in connection with these claims is reasonably possible."

As to the 44 or more lawsuits filed against Home Depot related to the data breach, the company said it "believes that it is reasonably possible that the ultimate amount paid on these actions, claims and investigations could be material to the company's consolidated financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows in future periods."

As Atlanta Business Chronicle has previously reported, a federal court agency known as the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is scheduled to hold a hearing on Dec. 4 in Charleston, S.C., about how to possibly combine and litigate many of the cases as one combined court action.

Home Depot said it has $100 million of network security and privacy liability insurance that will cover exposure to losses such as those related to the data breach. It said the policy has a $7.5 million deductible.

Home Depot previously said it had $43 million of expenses during the third quarter related to the data breach.

Among the most recent lawsuits filed against Home Depot is a complaint filed Nov. 19 in federal court in Atlanta by Connecticut-based Salisbury Bank and Trust Co.

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