As expected, Sony Pictures Entertainment is seeking to have the first batch of class action lawsuits over the hacking attack dismissed, arguing that two ex-employees had failed to show that they suffered “concrete injury” from the data breach.
In a response to one class action lawsuit filed by former employees Michael Corona and Christina Mathis, the studio called the breach “massive and unprecedented,” and even included an FBI press release attributing it to North Korea.
But in its effort to have the claim quickly dismissed the studio is not arguing that the attack was unforeseen. Rather, it is arguing that the plaintiffs do not have standing.
“There are no allegations of identity theft, no allegations of fraudulent charges, and no allegations of misappropriation of medical information,” Sony said in a brief filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. “Instead, the plaintiffs assert a broad range of common-law and statutory cases of action based on their alleged fear of an increased risk of future harm, as well as expenses they claim to have incurred to prevent that future harm.”
Sony contends that the plaintiffs fall short of the requirement that they suffer “some concrete and particularized injury” before a lawsuit is filed. The studio, represented by David C. Marcus and Christopher Casamassima of Wilmer Hale, also contends that the plaintiffs’ failure to show an injury means they have insufficient grounds to state a claim for negligence.
The plaintiffs are seeking to have their lawsuit and six other similar class action claims, all filed by ex-employees in the wake of the hacking attack, consolidated. U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner has scheduled a hearing on Feb. 23.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that Sony failed to take adequate safeguards to protect their personal information from a cyber-attack.