Capital One revealed last week that a data breach had exposed the personal data of six million of its Canadian customers, and now, an Ontario-based law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against the credit card company on behalf of those affected.
The lawsuit, filed by personal injury firm Diamond & Diamond, is seeking more than $350 million in damages and other forms of relief for Canadians who applied for Capital One credit cards between 2005 and 2019. According to a statement from Capital One last week, the bulk of exposed information was personal data that is routinely collected via credit card applications, including names, addresses, phone numbers and self-reported incomes.
The firm is arguing that the exposure of this data could affect customers for years and put them at risk for identity theft.
“What makes this breach so egregious is that it includes identifying information such as someone's name and social insurance number that cannot be changed,” said Darryl Singer, the lead lawyer on the suit.
Rina Del Guidice of Bolton, Ont., who received a Costco Wholesale MasterCard through Capital One, is the representative plaintiff for the suit. The company also offered credit cards through other Canadian merchants, including Hudson’s Bay Co.
In addition to the six million Canadians that were affected by the breach, 100 million U.S. customers also suffered from the hack. A South Seattle software engineer was charged last week with computer fraud and abuse.
Capital One was set to start informing affected Canadians by mail and email this week.
Diamond & Diamond, the firm leading the class-action suit, has faced its own set of legal troubles. Last year, Ontario’s legal regulator determined that Diamond & Diamond did not qualify as a law firm as defined by its rules. The Law Society of Ontario also stated that Jeremy Diamond, a high-profile lawyer in the firm, was alleged to have no experience conducting trials in personal injury law.
It won’t be the only firm representing Canadians affected by the hack. Charney Lawyers in Vancouver said last week that it also planned to file a class action suit against Capital One.