A notice program authorized by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, began today. The notice is a result of the Court certifying, on April 7, 2008, a plaintiff class in lawsuits alleging that customers' personal, private, and confidential financial information was disclosed for profit by Sears to certain third-party vendors contrary to the representations and obligations to its credit card holders.
The lawsuits are Bovay et al. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., No. 01 CH 18096, consolidated with Triezenberg et al v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., No. 02 CH 4693, and Clark et al. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., No. 03 CH 7605 (hereinafter "Sears Privacy Litigation"). The lawsuits include all persons and entities in the United States, with the exception of members of the California Class in Utility Consumers' Action Network, et al. v. Sears Roebuck & Co., et al., No. 306232 (Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco), who, between September 9, 1995, and June 22, 2001, were a Sears credit card customer and had certain information (name, address, telephone number and scrambled or unscrambled credit card number) disclosed by Sears to a third-party vendor, Memberworks, Cendent, Encore Marketing and/or Allstate Motor Club, with whom Sears had an agreement to disclose certain information and pursuant to which Sears was entitled to receive money, directly or indirectly, as a result of any sales of goods, programs or services by the third-party vendor or to Sears credit card holders or through an administrative, service or transactional fee.
The lawsuit claims that, contrary to its representations not to do so, Sears, Roebuck & Co. ("Sears") obtained and wrongfully disclosed its customers' personal, private, and confidential financial information to third-party marketers for profit without informing its customers. Plaintiffs allege a number of causes of action resulting from the alleged conduct of Sears, including violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, Unjust Enrichment, and Invasion.