January 31, 2019

Marriott's home state of Maryland drew the most support as a destination for consolidating dozens of consumer class actions over the hotelier's recently revealed data breach during arguments Thursday before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

There was consensus among Marriott International Inc. and various plaintiffs at the hearing in Miami on the need to centralize the consumer class actions filed since the company announced in November that attackers stole personal information of hundreds of millions of guests through its Starwood Hotels unit's guest reservation system, including about 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers.

The District of Maryland's Southern Division stood out as the top choice of both the defendant, whose headquarters is in nearby Bethesda, and the largest number of plaintiffs, including the nearly 180 plaintiffs from all 50 states who brought one of at least 34 suits filed in the state to date.

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The plaintiffs in the 50-state class action 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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