On November 24, 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment took its computer systems offline after a group of hackers breached the company’s network. The group that has claimed responsibility for the breach, Guardians of Peace, hacked into Sony Pictures’ computer systems, preventing staff from logging into their computers or accessing their corporate email accounts. The LA Times reported that the hackers warned Sony Pictures that they had obtained, and planned to release, internal company information. At the time, it was unclear what information had been taken, and cyber security experts said little was known about the hackers.
In the days following the breach, internal documents and confidential employee information were published on an anonymous internet posting site. The personal information that was exposed on the internet includes employee names, birthdates, social security numbers, banking and credit card information, medical information, and employment information like salaries and performance reviews.
Girard Gibbs Files a Class Action Lawsuit
On December 17, 2014, Girard Gibbs LLP filed a class action against Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. on behalf of current and former employees whose personal information was compromised in the data breach. Plaintiffs allege that Sony Pictures failed to maintain industry standard security measures to protect their personal information, making the network vulnerable to attack. You can read a copy of the complaint here.
The court appointed Girard Gibbs to serve as interim co-lead counsel for the proposed class of current and former Sony Pictures employees.
The District Court Authorizes Plaintiffs to Pursue Their Claims
On June 15, 2015, the Honorable R. Gary Klausner of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California largely denied the motion to dismiss filed by Sony Pictures. The district court held that the plaintiffs can pursue their claims for negligence, declaratory relief, violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, and violation of the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act.
You can read a copy of the court’s order here.
Has your information been affected by the Sony data breach?
If you are a Sony Pictures employee or have worked for Sony Pictures in the past and believe your personal information has been compromised, we would like to hear from you. Please fill out the form on the right or call toll-free at (866) 981-4800 if you would like to speak to a privacy attorney.