Bank, Wis. man file class-action suit vs. Target

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wausau bank and a Fitchburg man have filed a class-action lawsuit against Target Corp. over last year's massive security breach.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states, but this is the first of its kind to be filed in Wisconsin, The Wisconsin State Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1dU7ND0 ). The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Madison.

The plaintiffs are seeking restitution for customers and compensation for credit- and identity-theft monitoring, as well as compensation for banks that are re-issuing cards and monitoring bank accounts for fraud.

Target has said it believes hackers broke into its vast network in December by first infiltrating the computers of one of its vendors. Then the hackers installed malicious software in Target's checkout system for its estimated 1,800 U.S. stores.

Experts believe the thieves gained access during the busy holiday season to about 40 million credit and debit card numbers and the personal information — including names, email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses — of as many as 70 million customers.

Fitchburg resident Kas Schafer is representing the customer class in the lawsuit, which says he had to wait weeks for a replacement debit card. Wausau-based Integrity First Bank is representing the banking class, and says in the suit that it had to cancel and reissue cards to customers who shopped at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

The suit also accuses Target of negligence in failing to properly safeguard data and not disclosing the breach in a timely manner.

Attorney Eric Haag, who is representing one of the plaintiffs, told the newspaper that the case is one of 80 pending in the U.S., but is the first to also seek to certify a class of banks.

Target did not immediately respond to the newspaper's request for comment.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

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