DALLAS — The Cornerstone Credit Union League, which represents hundreds of credit unions across the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, said its board voted unanimously to join a class action lawsuit against Home Depot in connection with a massive data breach at the retail giant late last year.
The suit seeks recovery and injunctive relief associated with the breach, which the Credit Union National Association said resulted in CUs bearing "tens of millions of dollars" in costs. In October 2014, CUNA estimated the total amount lost by CUs at about $60 million.
In April the trade group announced that it wants to recruit one CU from each of the 50 states to join the class action to "best ensure [that] monetary recovery from the September 2014 data breach at Home Depot is available to credit unions in all states."
At least a dozen CUs are already plaintiffs in the suit, including NECA Federal Credit Union, Alcoa Community FCU, Federal CU, Navigant CU and Suncoast CU, according to records filed with U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.
Home Depot has already acknowledged that a total of 56 million credit and debit cards were compromised in the breach.
"We feel that as the largest regional trade association representing the interests of more than 540 credit unions in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, Cornerstone needed to be at the table supporting credit unions toward holding retailers accountable when they fail to protect the personal data of customers using debit and credit cards to complete a transaction," said Cornerstone president and CEO Richard L. Ensweiler in a statement.
"As not-for-profit financial institutions owned by their members, credit unions are forced to clean up the mess caused by data breaches by notifying its member-owners, re-issuing debit and credit cards, and adding staff to support member inquiries and monitor consumer accounts while retailers are often able to walk away and absolve themselves of the costs to consumers or financial institutions," he added.
According to its recent financial performance report filed with the SEC, Home Depot claimed the breach was caused by hackers who intruded upon the company's payment data systems, "which potentially impacted customers who used payment cards at self-checkout systems in our U.S. and Canadian stores."