Three Houston law firms representing credit unions and other card issuers in litigation against Heartland Payment Systems over the firm's 2008 card data security breach have criticized a proposed settlement of those cases.
The law firms of Caddell & Chapman, the Coffman Law Firm and Chimicles & Tikellis have scheduled conference calls through which credit unions and other issuers can find out more information about what the law firms say are weaknesses in the settlement offer.
Their chief complaint is that the settlement offers issuers "pennies on the dollar" for the losses they suffered in the breach. But the law firms also point out that Heartland and Visa are pushing credit unions and other issuers to decide whether or not to accept the settlement in a very short amount of time and that the settlement releases Heartland acquiring banks, Keybank and Heartland Bank from liability for the breach without having them contribute to the redress of the issuers' losses.
"It certainly makes one wonder," argued interim co-lead counsel Richard Coffman of the Coffman Law Firm, "why VISA would secretly negotiate a settlement on behalf of its issuers that lets the two richest potentially culpable parties off the hook with little, if any, financial investment and then force its issuers to decide within two weeks whether to accept the deal. If I were an executive of a financial institution harmed by the Heartland data breach, I would seriously question whether VISA truly has the best interests of its network members at heart."