Target Breach Plaintiffs Await Jurisdiction Ruling
Six credit unions, 10 banks and roughly 75 individuals will learn next week if they will aggregate their cases against Target Corp. and transfer them to U.S. District Court in Minnesota.
The plaintiffs filed suit against the Minnesota-based giant retail chain seeking damages after Target revealed a computer breach in late 2013 resulted in the compromise of tens of millions of credit and debit card accounts.
Because the cases are fairly similar and originate from different parts of the country, many plaintiffs asked a Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to move them to Minnesota.
“Transfer of the related actions to the District of Minnesota for consolidated or coordinated pretrial proceedings is appropriate because witnesses and documents will likely be found in Minnesota; many plaintiffs and the lone defendant are located in Minnesota; the judge to whom the 19 Minnesota actions have been assigned, the Honorable Paul. A. Magnuson is an experienced jurist who has successfully presided over several large MDL actions; and this district’s docket is well-situated to accommodate a large, complex class action,” wrote five of the Minnesota-based banks that took Target to court.
The six credit unions that have filed complaints in federal courts against Target are the $216 million Alabama State Employees Credit Union in Montgomery, Ala.; the $38 million First Choice Federal Credit Union in New Castle, Pa.; the $30 million North Districts Community Credit Union, headquartered in Gibsonia, Pa.; the $30 million Employees Credit Union in Nashville, Tenn.; the $62 million Tuscaloosa Credit Union, headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and, the $2 billion Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M.
Similar briefs have been filed by other plaintiffs as well.
One of the attorneys representing a plaintiff credit union told CU Times the panel is expected to meet next week and announce its decision.
The MDL Panel consists of seven sitting federal judges who are appointed to serve on the panel by the Chief Justice of the United States. The multidistrict litigation statute provides that no two panel members may be from the same federal judicial circuit.
Created in 1968, the panel is charged with determining whether civil actions pending in different federal districts involve one or more common questions of fact such that the actions should be transferred to one federal district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. The company also selects the judge or judges and court assigned to conduct such proceedings.
The panel centralizes cases to avoid duplication of discovery and prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, according to the panel's website. The group also serves to conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.