U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm, who is overseeing nearly 100 lawsuits brought over Marriott's data breach, told lawyers at a hearing Thursday: “I don't want the process to stall.”
A federal judge wants an aggressive schedule for the Marriott data breach lawsuits, telling lawyers Thursday that he planned to rule on motions to dismiss the cases by the end of the year.
The judge outlined his scheduling plans at a hearing as Marriott International Inc. prepares to file motions to dismiss the cases, brought by consumers, financial institutions, shareholders and the city of Chicago, which filed its own case Feb. 14. U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm of the District of Maryland, who is overseeing almost 100 class actions brought over last year’s breach, said he did not want the litigation bogged down.
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On Nov. 30, Marriott announced that a breach compromised the personal data of 500 million guests of its Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide properties (Marriott has since lowered that figure to fewer than 383 million). On Feb. 6, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all the cases transferred to Grimm’s courtroom.
At Thursday’s hearing, Grimm said he would rely on U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s handling of the Anthem data breach cases to determine how to move the consumer cases forward. In Anthem, Koh, in the Northern District of California, approved a $115 million class action settlement last year.
In particular, Grimm suggested that plaintiffs lawyers file a consolidated class action complaint limited to a handful of representative claims that Marriott could address in its motion to dismiss. Three lawyers for consumers appeared at the hearing: Andrew Friedman, a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Washington, D.C.; Amy Keller of Chicago’s DiCello Levitt; and James Pizzirusso, a partner at Hausfeld in Washington, D.C. Friedman also was co-lead counsel in the Anthem cases.
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