Santa Clara, CA: A data breach class action lawsuit has been filed in Alabama against the dating for marrieds website Ashley Madison. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims the site and its owners and operators failed to protect its customers' data or promptly alert them of the data hack that occurred in July. The cyber attack publicly exposed information on 37 million Ashley Madison members.
The lead plaintiff, who filed under the pseudonym "John Doe,"is claiming that Toronto-based Avid Life Media Inc, the parent company of Ashley Madison, was negligent and violated Alabama state and federal laws by not implementing proper security measures to protect its customers' information and by not deleting its members' data even after they paid $19 to have their information taken off the website.
According to lawsuit, in 2012 the plaintiff created an account with Ashley Madison. At that time he was not in a relationship, currently he is engaged. He states he became aware his information had been made public on August 21, roughly the same time his friends, customers and neighbors alerted him they were aware of his account. Doe contends he and his fiancée have also received a number of embarrassing messages from friends and family through social media.
"Plaintiff was not in a relationship at the time he accessed the site, however, he is now in a committed relationship with his soon to be wife, and they have suffered much embarrassment and emotional distress as a result of Ashley Madison' failure to protect Plaintiff' private information,"the complaint states.
Doe claims that by allegedly misrepresenting to him that it had protected his data and deleted his account information when it hadn't, Ashley Madison has violated the Federal Stored Communications Act and Alabama' Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Doe further asserts breach of implied contract, bailment, conversion, fraud and misrepresentation and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
The plaintiff is represented by Thomas E. Baddley Jr., Jeffrey P. Mauro and John Parker Yates of Baddley & Mauro LLC. The case is John Doe v. Avid Life Media, Inc. et al, case number 6:15-cv-01464, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.