A shareholder derivative action has been filed in Georgia against Equifax, Inc. and 15 top executives over2017’s historic data breachthat compromised the personal information of roughly 143 million consumers nationwide. At the center of the 64-page lawsuit is, predictably, the financial toll resulting from Equifax’s failure to not only safeguard consumers’ data, but to fulfill its fiduciary duties to shareholders. The plaintiff, the Teamsters Local 443 Health Services & Insurance Plan, alleges the defendants overstepped federal securities laws, citing apparently improper financial reporting, substantially damaged market share, and the amounts of money Equifax has spent in legal costs.
The lawsuit’s primary gripe sticks on the defendants—chief among whom are the Equifax officers who came under fire for suspiciously timed sales of company stock before the data breach was revealed—having together allegedly “initiated a course of conduct” to both conceal the breach from the public while deceiving consumers and investors regarding the management of Equifax’s operations. The lawsuit goes so far as to claim Equifax’s top brass conspired to “disguise the individual defendants’ violations of federal securities laws,” as well as conceal adverse information regarding the company’s operations and the manner in which they were reportedly unjustly enriched after selling off company shares in August 2017.
According to the lawsuit, the data breach wiped out more than 28 percent of Equifax’s total market capitalization.
ClassAction.org’s list of every proposed class action case filed against Equifax over the data breach can be foundhere.