A total of 176 plaintiffs from all 50 U.S. states have filed suit against Marriott International Inc. in Maryland federal court following its recent announcement that attackers in a 2016 data breach swiped about 5.25 million passport numbers left unencrypted by the Starwood Hotels unit's guest reservation system.
The 50-state proposed class action filed Wednesday — which also follows Marriott’s recent bid before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to combine in the hotel giant’s home state of Maryland dozens of consumer class actions already filed over the data breach — claims that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide LLC failed to secure personally identifiable information such as passport information, customers’ names, mailing addresses and payment card data, including credit and debit card numbers.
“Marriott disregarded plaintiffs’ and class members’ rights by intentionally, willfully, recklessly or negligently failing to take adequate and reasonable measures to ensure its data systems were protected, failing to take available steps to prevent and stop the data breach from ever happening, and failing to disclose to its customers the material facts that it did not have adequate computer systems and security practices to safeguard customers’ personal information,” according to the 312-page complaint, which also includes plaintiffs from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The hotel giant on Jan. 4 said it now believes that information for fewer than 383 million unique guests was involved in the breach first announced Nov. 30, compared with the earlier reported number of 500 million guests. Marriott also said approximately 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers and 8.6 million encrypted payment card numbers were stolen in addition to the 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers.
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Vickie Vetter and the other named plaintiffs are represented by Amy E. Keller of DiCello Levitt & Casey LLC, James J. Pizzirusso of Hausfeld LLP, Andrew N. Friedman of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Melissa H. Maxman of Cohen & Gresser LLP and James Ulwick of Kramon & Graham PA.
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