BUSINESS

Sony faces third lawsuit from ex-employees over breach that released personal, medical info

12/18/2014 02:31 EST | Updated 02/17/2015 05:59 EST
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Two more former employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment are suing the company over the massive data breach in which their personal and financial information was stolen and posted online.

The lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday seeks class-action status for current and former Sony employees who information was hacked from the company's servers. The breach, which a U.S. official has said is linked to North Korea, resulted in the release of Social Security numbers, financial, medical and other personal info for about 50,000 Sony workers.

The suit by Denver resident Joshua Forster and Ella Carline Archibeque of Los Angeles is the third such lawsuit filed against Sony this week. The suit seeks damages and restitution for those affected by the breach, including $1,000 for each person whose medical information was stolen.

Archibeque claims Sony allowed her medical information to remain on its servers for too long; she left the company in 2009.

"Cybercriminals were able to perpetrate a breach of this depth and scope because (Sony) failed to maintain reasonable and adequate security measures to protect the employees' information from access and disclosure," the lawsuit states.

The previous lawsuits also seek compensation for those impacted by the breach, and want Sony to pay for credit monitoring and repair services for the next several years.

Forster and Archibeque's suit claims that Sony prioritized damage control over embarrassing details included in the emails of its top executives, rather than properly informing its current and former workers about the breach.

"In addition to implementing a sophisticated public relations campaign to portray the breach as beyond its control, (Sony) focused its early remediation efforts on controlling the damage associated with salacious comments appearing in emails about movie stars and removing pirated films from the Internet," the suit states.

An email message seeking comment from a Sony representative was not immediately returned.

In addition to Social Security numbers, salary details and medical information, hackers posted several Sony films that were unreleased or are still in theatres. They also prompted the studio on Wednesday to cancel the release of the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy "The Interview," which portrays an assassination plot against North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.