Both the Financial Institution Plaintiff Class and the Consumer Plaintiff Class Defeat Motions to Dismiss in Target Breach Litig


In December 2013, Target Corporation, the Minnesota-headquartered retailer that is one of the nation’s largest retail chains, announced that over a period of more than three weeks during the busy Christmas holiday shopping season, computer hackers had stolen credit- and debit-card information for approximately 110 million of Target’s customers. The hackers allegedly accessed Target’s point-of-sale systems; in other words, its cash registers. Dozens of lawsuits against Target followed, which were consolidated into two tracks, one for the Consumer plaintiffs class and a second for the class of Financial Institutions that are part of the credit and debit card payment process relied upon by Target and its customers. The consolidated cases are captioned In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 14-2522 (D. Minn.).

In December 2014, the Hon. Paul A. Magnuson issued opinions denying pre-answer motions to dismiss. The effect of the rulings is that the litigation will go forward for some months or years, until the opportunity arises for motions for summary judgment. The opinions, issued December 2, as to the Financial Institution class, and December 18, as to the Consumer Class, are attached to this post.  Discovery in the consolidated actions was already underway, as a motion to stay discovery by Target was denied by the Court on July 24, 2014.

In his ruling on the Consumer class claims, Judge Magnuson held that the plaintiff Consumer class had established “standing” based upon allegations that the breach caused plaintiffs to suffer restricted or blocked access to bank accounts, unlawful charges, jeopardized the ability to pay other bills, the