Target's legal woes continue to mount over its now-infamous data breach in 2013, which exposed the credit card numbers and personal information for as many as 70 million shoppers. A District Court judge in Minnesota ruled on Wednesday that Target was negligent in its credit card data security and is therefore liable to a class-action suit brought by banks affected by the hack. That $5 million lawsuit seeks to defer the cost of covering fraudulent charges made with the stolen data. Wednesday's decision allows the primary five plaintiffs -- Umpqua Bank, Mutual Bank, Village Bank, CSE Federal Credit Union and First Federal Savings of Lorain -- to represent the rest of the class in its action.
This development follows a tumultuous span for the retail chain. Following the initial hack and disclosure in the fall of 2013, Target's come under scrutiny from the Justice Department and had its CEO step down in disgrace. Financially, Target could be on the hook for up to $10,000 for each of the 70 million affected shoppers. The company has already paid Visa $67 million for the trouble and attempted to give MasterCard another $19 million, though that latter offering fell through. Member banks that were compensated through the Visa settlement will not be eligible to participate in this lawsuit.
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