T-Mobile USA announced last month that as many as 15 million of its customers may have been affected by a data breach at Experian North America, a California-based credit bureau and consumer data broker. Experian handled financing for the wireless service provider. It is believed the data breach may have lasted as long as two years (Sept. 1, 2013 to Sept. 16, 2015). An Experian spokesperson says the company detected the breach Sept. 15, 2015, and that it was verified that the T-Mobile data was stolen on Sept. 22, 2015.
Experian says the T-Mobile files stolen did not contain consumer credit or debit card information, or any other banking information. However, the compromised file did contain names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, drivers’ license numbers if provided, and any other additional information used in T-Mobile’s credit assessment process. As a result of the data breach, Experian and T-Mobile will very likely be the subject of multidistrict litigation (MDL). It was reported by Law 360 that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will decide if the pending cases will be combined, along with any future similar cases lodged against the two companies. Beasley Allen lawyer Andrew Brashier had this to say about the MDL:
The MDL process is a way to concentrate and consolidate pre-trial motions and discovery before one court. This serves to efficiently handle common issues and disputes instead of litigating those issues across courts nationwide, where different and inconsistent rulings could occur. I believe the Experian data breach cases should be placed into an MDL and am confident that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will likely agree. The key question will be, ‘Where does the JPML see fit to place the MDL?’
If you are a T-Mobile customer and believe your personal information may have been compromised in the Experian data breach, you may have reason to file a claim against the companies. For more information or to talk to a lawyer about your potential claim, contact one of the lawyers in our Consumer Fraud section: Andrew Brashier, Archie Grubb, Larry Golston or Lance Gould at 800-898-2034 or by email at Andrew.Brashier@beasleyallen.com, Archie.Grubb@beasleyallen.com, Larry.Golston@beasleyallen.com or Lance.Gould@beasleyallen.com.
Sources: Krebs on Security, Law360.com