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Bank Representatives Decide To Sue Retailer TJX

Representatives of 300 banks are preparing to file a lawsuit against TJX Cos. Inc., a leading U.S. retailer for allowing a security breach that resulted in theft of millions of credit and debit cards data, according to an industry body on April 24, 2007.

The Massachusetts Bankers Association (MBA), which is going to file the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Boston will seek refunds in damages worth a minimum of "tens of millions of dollars", said association spokesman Bruce Spitzer. CNNMoney.com reported this on April 24, 2007.

The Connecticut Bankers Association, the Maine Association of Community Banks and individual banks will unite with the lawsuit as co-plaintiffs, the association said.

Dan Forte, president and CEO of MBA said his organization plans to ask the remaining state bank groups in the country if they too are willing to join the class-action status lawsuit.

The complaint is going to use the Massachusetts law to place an unfair trade practices argument, alleging that the retailing company was unable to protect confidential customer data and misled its manner of handling the data.

According to members of the MBA, hot credit cards were still arriving so they could not assess the total damage and the subsequent costs, Spitzer said. In all it at least stands to tens of millions of dollars, he said.

The preliminary calculations of the expenses go up to $25 for every card, the association said.

The data breach at the TJX came to light on December 18, 2006 and since then investigators have been searching the hacking group that attacked the retailer's electronic networks. The TJX theft is regarded the biggest hack of customer information in the entire U.S.

There was also theft of other set of names, addresses and personal ID numbers of nearly 451,000 persons who returned their merchandise.

Sherry Lang, spokeswoman for TJX said her company never commented on legal disputes but it would vigorously defend itself. Courant.com reported, April 25, 2007.

As a step against security lapse, Massachusetts's lawmakers are thinking of a bill that would hold retailers and other companies responsible for hackers' breach into their computer systems.

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