Couple Sues Michaels Over Latest Data Breach

Suit notes that Michaels experienced a similar breach in 2011 which should have alerted the company of the need for additional security measures

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 1:12 PM CDT
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Couple Sues Michaels Over Latest Data Breach

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An Illinois couple on Wednesday filed a class action lawsuit against the Michaels craft store chain, alleging the retailer should have stepped up security measures following a security breach nearly three years ago.

Michael C. Gouwens and his wife, Jessica E. Gouwens, say a security breach earlier this month may have compromised the credit and debit card information of the company’s customers, and that breach is a violation of an implied contract with customers to safeguard their credit information.

Further, the suit claims the chain violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act by failing to implement proper security measures, warn shoppers that their data was at risk or notify affected customers of the nature and extent of the breach.

Michaels issued a statement Jan. 25 stating that the company had learned about a possible data security attack and warning customers to look out for fraudulent purchases.

“While we have not confirmed a compromise to our systems, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers to alert them to this potential issue so they can take steps to protect themselves, for example, by reviewing their payment card account statements for unauthorized charges,” Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin said in the statement.

The suit notes that Michaels experienced a similar breach in 2011 which should have alerted the company of the need for additional security measures.

A representative for Michaels Stores, Inc., declined to comment on the pending litigation.

The two-count lawsuit is seeking an undisclosed amount in compensatory and punitive damages.

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