Years after the massive attack on Yahoo’s system that resulted to the breech of hundreds of millions of its users’ personal data, the company continues to suffer in what appears to be the latest from its very long string of sheer bad luck.
Shortly after confirming the security breech, Yahoo has been continuously facing lawsuits after lawsuits from its angry users.
Majority of the suits range from breach of contract, constitutional, consumer protection, and invasion of privacy claims.
Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, in lawsuits of such nature, the plaintiff has the burden of showing evidence that they have suffered an “injury in fact” that can be directly linked to the defendant’s conduct.
But statistics show that many complainants fail to produce such evidence in many of the cases filed before the federal courts. Additionally, many companies often find solace in federal courts under the protection of the Class Action Fairness Act.
“Although this is still a developing area of the law, a number of federal courts have dismissed data breach cases right at the outset because they found this requirement lacking,” said Howard Privette, a lawyer with extensive knowledge and expertise on the subject, during an interview with Bloomberg BNA.
“Class action defense counsel often consider federal court to be a more hospitable forum, and I would not be surprised to see Yahoo try to have these cases removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act,” said Privette.
Such facts drove many of Yahoo’s complainants to file separate charges against the company in a state known for stiffer and stricter laws on privacy issues and data security — California.
“California courts do not have the same strict Article III limitation on their jurisdiction, and plaintiffs may try to use the absence of that limitation to avoid some of the threshold standing arguments they might face in federal court,” Privette added.
Bloomberg law data reveals that as of Oct. 13, there are at least six active lawsuits filed by Yahoo’s aggrieved users in California alone.
In addition to this, there is a federal consolidated putative class action lawsuit filed before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, along other federal cases filed against the company in connection with data breach claims.
But the data breech lawsuits aren’t the only problems currently troubling the embattled company.
Just recently, a gender discrimination lawsuit has been filed against Yahoo by two of its former employees — on grounds that they lost their jobs due to discrimination against males in the company.
Yahoo’s accusers, former employees Greg Anderson and Scott Ard, claim that the company’s quarterly performance review — which was the basis for their termination — were subject to manipulation.
According to Ard’s lawsuit, the review was “opaque, and the employees did not know who was making the final decisions, what numbers were being assigned by whom along the way, or why those numbers were being changed.
“This manipulation of the … process permitted employment decisions, including terminations, to be made on the basis of personal biases and stereotyping.”
Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer, meanwhile, has been consistently under fire for the company’s mounting problems, and was constantly criticized for maintaining a lavish lifestyle amid threats of a company shakedown.
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