A law firm that is already chasing British Airways now claims it is suing Easyjet for up to £18bn, intending to take a modest £5.4bn cut for itself, after nine million people's data was stolen from the airline's servers.
The no-win-no-fee firm, PGMBM, claimed in a statement today to have filed a case in London's High Court against the British airline. It is demanding Easyjet pays £2,000 compensation per affected customer, giving a total of £18bn.
Tom Goodhead, PGMBM's managing partner, said in a canned statement: "This is a monumental data breach and a terrible failure of responsibility that has a serious impact on easyJet's customers. This is personal information that we trust companies with, and customers rightly expect that every effort is made to protect their privacy."
It wasn't just a few credit cards: Entire travel itineraries were stolen by hackers, Easyjet now tells victimsREAD MORE
If the firm wins, customers signed up for a slice of the Easyjet compensation pie will fork over "a maximum of 30 per cent of damages", giving the law firm up to a cool £5.4bn with which to do Scrooge McDuck impressions. A website to sign up and be part of the claim is at theeasyjetclaim.com, though the lawyers note it might take up to two years for a verdict to be reached by the court.
Although some people have received emails appearing to come from scammers capitalising on the stolen Easyjet data, there is no indication (yet) that this is anything more than reuse of old stolen creds from other breaches, topped and tailed with topical phishing text. Scammers are always quick to jump on topical news items to tailor their lures.
Easyjet has been asked for comment about the lawsuit.
PGMBM is the outfit formerly known as SPG Law, which launched a similar group litigation attempt at British Airways after that airline was hacked a couple of years ago. SPG Law was originally founded as the UK arm of American firm Sanders Phillips Grossman.
Although group litigation orders (GLOs) are easily confused with US class-action lawsuits, they differ in practice. Potential GLO cases can trip over a number of procedural hurdles, as former Which director Richard Lloyd discovered when Google managed to nix a GLO lawsuit he brought against it over the infamous Safari Workaround for ad-tracking cookies. Luckily for Lloyd, the Court of Appeal reversed that decision and slightly loosened the rules on who can be counted as part of the "class" of people affected by an alleged wrongdoing.
Morrisons supermarket, on the other hand, escaped a GLO lawsuit by the skin of its teeth earlier this year after the Supreme Court said it wasn't responsible for the actions of a rogue auditor who stole its entire payroll and dumped it online. ®