×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony Hit With Class Action Lawsuit by Ex-Employees

Sony Pictures Entertainment has been slapped with a lawsuit by two former employees who claim the studio did not do enough to safeguard their private information from a cyber attack.

The class-action suit was filed by Michael Corona and Christina Mathis, both of whom had their social security numbers made public after a hacking group calling itself Guardians of Peace dumped studio documents, employee information and salary charts online. The suit is being filed on behalf of current and former employees of the studio.

Film budgets and employee medical detail were also leaked as part of the hack. The lawsuit claims that Sony knew its security system was vulnerable but made “business decision to accept the risk” of a possible breach rather than spend more money to improve the system.

The suit reads:

“At its core, the story of ‘what went wrong’ at Sony boils down to two inexcusable problems: (1) Sony failed to secure its computer systems, servers, and databases …despite weaknesses that it has known about for years, because Sony made a ‘business decision to accept the risk’ of losses associated with being hacked; and (2) Sony subsequently failed to protect timely confidential information of its current and former employees from law-breaking hackers who (a) found these security weaknesses, (b) obtained confidential information of Sony’s current and former employees stored on Sony’s network, (c) warned Sony that it would publicly disseminate this information, and (d) repeatedly followed through by publicly disseminating portions of the information that they claim to have obtained from Sony’s network through multiple dumps of internal data from Sony’s Network.”

The lawsuit cites recently leaked emails and internal assessments that “reveal that Sony’s own information technology department and, separately, its general counsel believed that its technological security and email retention policies ran the risk of making too much data vulnerable to attack.”

Carona was en employee from 2004 to 2007. The suit says that he has so far spent $700 for a year of identity theft protection. Mathis worked in Sony Pictures Consumer Products from 2000 to 2012. The suit says that she has spent $300 so far on identity theft protection.

The suit was filed by the law firm of Keller Rohrback in Santa Barbara and Seattle.

A spokesman for the studio did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The ex-employees are claiming negligence, violation of a California law on the confidentiality of medical information, violation of a California law on notification of a security breach and violation of a Virginia law on security breaches. Carona now lives in Virginia.

The lawsuit cites the Sony PlayStation breach in 2011, and claims that the studio “knew or should have known that such a security breach was likely and taken adequate precautions to protect current and former employees” personal information.

The lawsuit makes extensive reference to media reports, including those relying on information from stolen emails, of the Sony hacking in making its case that the studio did not adequately protect itself. Legal experts have said that the hacked emails are unlikely to be admissible in court, as it is stolen property.

The lawsuit claims that the studio failed to “timely and accurately disclose” the breach to employees and ex-employees.

More to come…

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Scarlett Johansson poses for photographers upon

    Scarlett Johansson 'Pushing' For All-Women Marvel Movie

    After the epic battle scene in “Avengers: Endgame” when the female superheros unite to protect Spider-Man from Thanos,  Marvel fans started wondering if they’ll ever see the women unite for a stand alone movie. “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson generated even more buzz when she told Variety that she and other female co-stars have approached [...]

  • Ivana Lombardi Netflix

    Annapurna Film Head Ivana Lombardi Named Director of Indies at Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

    Annapurna Pictures president of film Ivana Lombardi is moving across town to Netflix, after almost a year in her role at Megan Ellison’s company. As of Nov. 6, Lombardi will serve as director of independent films at the streamer. She will report directly to Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of independent film and documentary features. [...]

  • Zoe Kravitz 'Big Little Lies' TV

    Zoe Kravitz to Play Catwoman in 'The Batman'

    “Big Little Lies” star Zoe Kravitz has been tapped to play Catwoman, the antiheroine and sometime love interest of the Caped Crusader, in Matt Reeves’ upcoming “The Batman.” Kravitz will star opposite Robert Pattinson as Batman. Pre-production on the Warner Bros.-DC Comics pic is expected to start this summer. No official start date has been [...]

  • Hadley Robinson Amy Poehler

    'Little Women' Actress Hadley Robinson to Star in Amy Poehler's 'Moxie'

    “Utopia” and “Little Women” actress Hadley Robinson has been tapped to star in Amy Poehler’s next directorial effort “Moxie.” Lauren Tsai is also on board to co-star in the Netflix movie. “Moxie” follows a teenage girl (Robinson) from a small town who is inspired by her mother’s Riot Girl past and starts a feminist revolution [...]

  • Samara Weaving

    'G.I. Joe' Spinoff 'Snake Eyes' Adds 'Ready or Not's' Samara Weaving

    Samara Weaving will join Henry Golding in the “G.I. Joe” spinoff, “Snake Eyes.” Haruka Abe, Ursula Corbero, Iko Uwais and Andrew Koji have also boarded the Paramount, Skydance and AllSpark movie. “The Captain” director Robert Schwentke is helming and Brian Goldner is producing. Evan Spiliotopoulos, who wrote “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Huntsman: Winter’s [...]

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' to Screen at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre

    Netflix’s “The Irishman,” directed by Martin Scorsese, will screen at American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood  for two weeks starting Nov. 1. The screenings, announced Monday, are part of the limited theatrical run for the 209-minute crime drama, which premiered at the New York Film Festival on Sept. 27. Netflix will begin streaming “The Irishman” on [...]

  • Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Nominations 2019

    'Biggest Little Farm' Nabs Seven Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

    “The Biggest Little Farm” leads nominees for the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, with seven bids, followed by “Apollo 11” and “They Shall Not Grow Old.” “One Child Nation” received five nominations. The winners will be presented their awards at a gala, hosted by Property Brothers’ Jonathan Scott, on Nov. 10 at BRIC in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content