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Charlotte man sues Target over data breach

By Andrew Dunn and Rick Rothacker
adunn@charlotteobserver.com
Target Data Breach
Damian Dovarganes - AP
Shoppers arrive at a Target store in Los Angeles. Target says as many as 70 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear.

A Charlotte man is suing Target Corp., alleging that the massive data breach the retailer disclosed last month led to his debit card being fraudulently used.

His suit joins a growing number across the country seeking to hold the company accountable for the disclosure of payment and personal information of as many as 70 million of its customers.

In the lawsuit, Jerron Knox says he used his debit card on Dec. 1 at a Target store on Albemarle Road in Charlotte. Two weeks later, Target announced that hackers had gained access to information about millions of its customers who shopped at its stores during the pre-Christmas rush.

On Jan. 10, Knox said he got a notice that someone in China had tried to gain access to his email account. Last week, he said somebody used his debit card information to spend $162.50 at a Walmart in Houston. RushCard was able to reverse the charges, the suit states, and issue a new debit card.

Knox says in the suit that he is unable to make day-to-day purchases until the new card arrives. Target offered him free credit monitoring, the suit says.

Charlotte attorney Gary Jackson, one of the lawyers representing Knox, said he expects the case will eventually become part of “multi-district” litigation that consolidates cases from around the country.

The breach has hurt Target customers like Knox because they are unable to make daily purchases such as gas and groceries until they receive new cards, Jackson said. It’s also not clear whether the one year of free credit monitoring offered by Target will be sufficient, he said.

Jackson said his client was not available for comment on Friday.

The lawsuit questions whether Target did enough to secure its customers’ information and whether the company told customers about the data breach quickly enough. Knox is seeking class-action status nationwide and in North Carolina.

Target representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Customers have also filed lawsuits in San Francisco; Chicago; Tampa, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; and Montgomery, Ala., according to news reports.

To sign up for Target’s free credit monitoring, go to https://creditmonitoring.target.com. Researcher Maria David contributed.

Dunn: 704-358-5235; Twitter: @andrew_dunn
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