PORTLAND, Maine — At least a half-dozen federal class-action lawsuits have been filed here in the last week against Hannaford Bros. in the wake of the theft of its customers’ credit and debit card numbers. The Scarborough, Maine-based chain disclosed last week that up to 4.2 million numbers had been put at risk for theft, and that 1,800 instances of fraud had been discovered related to the theft. The lawsuits allege that Hannaford did not adequately secure the data and that it waited too long to disclose that its systems had been breached, among other charges. The suits seek unspecified damages, with at least one of the suits asking for payment to cover “anxiety, emotional distress, loss of privacy, and other economic and non-economic harm, in addition to an increased risk of identity theft.” Hannaford said it does not comment on pending litigation. In most such cases, lawsuits are settled out of court, an attorney specializing in data security told SN yesterday.
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