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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37971
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My position with my employer was eliminated on July 8, 2016.

Customer Question

My position with my employer was eliminated on July 8, 2016. I later learned that my personal information, including SS number, birthday, address and salary and benefits information was breached when a lap top was stolen from the firm that handles my former employer's salary, benefits, etc. issues. This laptop theft occurred on July 9, 2016. I was no longer an employee of the firm, but was awaiting payment for accrued vacation, final check, etc. The laptop theft was not discovered until the morning of July 11, 2016. Do Inhave grounds for suit for negligence in protecting my personal data against my former employer and/or the salary benefits firm they use?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 month ago.

Hello,

You may have grounds to sue, because (1) the employer has a duty to maintain the confidentiality of your personal info, and (2) it breached that duty, by allowing the information to be breached from a stolen laptop computer.

However, there are three additional elements to a negligence claim: (3) the employer's acts or omissions must be the actual cause of your injuries; (4) the employer's acts or omissions must be the reasoanbly foreseeable cause of your injuries; and (5) you must suffer a personal or property injury as a result.

The problem here is that the injury may be presumed to occur in the future, but it cannot be proved with certainty until someone uses the information of one or more employees to damage their credit or invade their accounts.

The case you describe is typically brought as a class action on behalf of all employees, because no individual employee has sufficient injuries to make the litigation costs economically feasible. I encourage you to contact some class action law firms and see if you can interest them in this case. If your employer is sufficiently large, then the law firm may take the case and you will have a valid claim. Google "Kansas City class action lawyers" and contact a few of them.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.