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The complaint also refers to the company’s November 30, 2018 press release.
The complaint alleges that this the statements in the company’s SEC filings were false and misleading because: “(1) Marriott’s and Starwood’s systems storing their customers’ personal data were not secure; (2) there had been unauthorized access on Starwood’s network since 2014; (3) consequently the personal data of approximately 500 million Starwood guests and sensitive personal information of approximately 327 million of those guests may have been exposed to unauthorized parties; and (4) as a result Marriott’s public statements were materially false and/or misleading at all relevant times.” The complaint alleges that on the news of the breach of the guest information systems, the company’s share price declined 5.5%.” Earlier this year, when Yahoo’s successor in interest announced the million settlement of the data breach-related securities class action lawsuit, I speculated that the sizeable settlement (which represented a milestone as the first significant recovery in a data breach-related D&O lawsuit) might encourage other prospective claimants to file data breach related securities suits.
On November 30, 2018, the same day that Marriott issued its press release, a plaintiffs’ lawyer filed what undoubtedly will be the first of many consumer class action lawsuits.
In October, a plaintiff shareholder also filed a data security lawsuit against Alphabet related to data security issues in connection with the company’s Google platform, although that lawsuit did not involve a data breach, as discussed here.Turns out, I didn’t give the plaintiffs’ lawyers nearly enough credit for haste.The plaintiffs’ lawyers managed to file a securities class action lawsuit against the company on December 1, 2018, just one day after Marriott announced the breach.Since then, there have been a number of other data breach-related securities suit filed.For example, as discussed here, in October 2018, a plaintiff shareholder filed a data breach-related securities suit against online educational service provider Chegg, Inc and certain of its executives.