MILLIONS of Easyjet customers who had their personal details stolen in a data breach could make a claim for compensation.
A cyber attack on the airline last year saw sensitive personal information of travellers taken by hackers, including financial details.
As many as nine million easyJet passengers are thought to be affected by the data breach which was first revealed in May 2020.
Anyone affected can join a claim for compensation which experts believe could be worth thousands of pounds each.
Email addresses, names and travel data was among the information stolen and around 2,000 customers had their credit card details accessed
Lawyers representing victims of the hack are seeking compensation from the airline and claim they could be owed up to £2,000 each.
Collective claims for compensation
LAWSUITS that result in compensation for many people are often referred to as “class action”.
In England and Wales a Group Litigation Order (GLO) is often used for this kind of lawsuit,
Collective action has been made easier under the UK’s Consumer Rights Act 2015.
It means the courts can treat similar claims as one, rather than having hundreds or even thousands of separate individual claims.
There are a number of stages to bringing this kind of lawsuit, including the courts needing to give permission for a GLO.
Both sides can also appeal decisions at various stages making it a lengthy process with no guarantee of a payout.
Collective actions are rare – there have only been around 100 cases since 2000 according to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
Since the changes in 2015, there has been only one mass claim launched.
A court ruled in late 2020 that a case against Mastercard could go ahead after initially being thrown out in 2017.
Anyone who believes they had their information compromised in the hack – either personal or financial – can join the claim.
There's no guarantee of a payout and collective claims of this type which are new in the UK, have not yet been fully tested in court.
But British Airways agreed this week to pay compensation to some customers who were victims of a similar data breach after reaching a settlement before it reached court.
Law frim PGMBM which represented the BA customers is also bringing a group action claim on behalf of easyjet customers.
Group action is similar to a class action lawsuit in the US, where multiple people can be represented in one claim together.
A Group Litigation Order (GLO) as it's known in the UK, means the courts can treat similar claims as one rather than having hundreds or even thousands of separate individual ones.
The law firm is one of several representing claimants and is doing it on a no win, no fee agreement.
That means there is no cost to sign up, but the firm will take a cut of any payout if the claim is successful to cover legal costs and that can be as much as 30%.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “The BA announcement is an entirely unrelated matter and arises out of different facts and circumstances.
“While some class action law firms continue to encourage easyJet customers whose data may have been compromised to pursue claims, this does not mean that customers have viable claims to compensation."
The airline added that it will "vigorously contest such claims".
How do I claim compensation?
First of all, you need to have had your personal data compromised by the breach to be in line for compensation.
EasyJet should have emailed you between April and July 2020 if you were a victim of the hack.
Customers affected booked easyJet flights or holidays between October 17, 2019 and March 4, 2020.
You don't need to have lost any money as a result of the breach to claim.
If your data was leaked in the breach you can join a collective action and there are several of them.
Each GLO represents many claimants, but each GLO is a separate case.
How to protect yourself from fraud
USE the following tips to protect yourself from fraudsters.
- Keep your social media accounts private – Think twice before you your share details – in particular your full date of birth, address and contacts details – all of this information can be useful to fraudsters.
- Deactivate and delete old social media profiles – Keep track of your digital footprint. If a profile was created 10 years ago, there may be personal information currently available for a fraudster to use that you’re are not aware of or you have forgotten about.
- Password protect your devices– Keep passwords complex by picking three random words, such as roverducklemon and add or split them with symbols, numbers and capitals.
- Install anti-virus software on your laptop and personal devices and keep it up to date – This will make it harder for fraudsters to access your data in the first place.
- Take care on public Wi-Fi– Fraudsters can hack or mimic them. If you’re using one, avoid accessing sensitive apps, such as mobile banking.
- Think about your offline information too – Always redirect your post when you move home and make sure your letter or mailbox is secure.
Law firm PGMBM has a website where you can register to join their claim at theeasyjetclaim.com.
There's no guarantee you will get a payout and the legal process for claiming can be lengthy.
Once enough people have joined the claim, a court has to approve it can go forward as a GLO.
This can be followed by appeals from both sides, and that's even before the case itself is heard.
A claim might be settled, like in the case of BA, before it reaches court but again there's no guarantee of that.
There is no deadline set yet for victims to join the action, but the lawyers are encouraging people to come forward if they've been affected.
A claim against Experian could see everyone receive a £750 payout, if successful.
One million drivers could get a payout worth as much as £2,500 each over allegations of car emissions test cheating by lawyers who are preparing a legal claim.
Millionsof Brits could be in line for a £300 payout after a landmark lawsuit against Mastercard on behalf of consumers was given the go ahead.
Source: Read Full Article