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Home Depot facing dozens of data breach lawsuits

Nov 25, 2014

Home Depot is facing at least 44 lawsuits related to a data breach at the home-improvement retailer that involved the theft of payment card information and customer e-mail addresses.

The retailer warned it was facing dozens of civil lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as investigations by a number of state and federal agencies.

The fallout continues at Home Depot (hd), which suffered from a data breach earlier this year that exposed millions of payment cards and e-mail addresses. Much of the damage has been fairly well contained, as Home Depot's latest sales results signaled that customers weren't dissuaded from visiting the retailer's stores even after the data breach made headlines in September. But Home Depot warned it has recorded millions in costs, and observers say more expenses will be booked as Home Depot manages the fallout from the breach.

Home Depot on Tuesday warned the lawsuits could affect its business, resulting in additional costs and fines and potentially diverting the attention of the company's management team away from standard operations. In addition, the government could impose injunction relief, which Home Depot said could result in higher data security costs.

The retailer also said it believed it was probable "that the payment card networks will make claims against the company." Those claims would likely include amounts for counterfeit fraud losses, as well as other expenses such as the issuance of new cards. Home Depot indicated it could potentially settle those claims in negotiations with the payment card companies.

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