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Home Depot Says Insurers Owe Tens of Millions Following Breach

April 9, 2021, 4:10 PM

The Home Depot Inc. and Home Depot USA Inc. are targeting a group of insurers in Ohio federal court, arguing they didn’t pay out their policies following a massive data breach the retailer suffered in 2014.

Steadfast Insurance Co. and Great American Assurance Co. failed to distribute the tens of millions of dollars covered by the agreed-upon policies, Home Depot alleged in its complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Home Depot was hit with a massive data breach in 2014 that destroyed the security and safety of millions of credit cards used at its stores. Home Depot was sued by the card issuers and ultimately reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with them.

“Of this settlement amount, the available information shows that the cost to replace over 36 million unusable plastic payment cards was up to $75 million and may have been well over $100 million,” Home Depot wrote in its complaint.

But the insurers refused to pay, and declined again when Home Depot renewed its request last year, the retailer alleged. Those repayment claims “fall squarely” within the insuring clauses of the Steadfast and Great American policies, Home Depot argued.

Those insurance companies, in addition to Zurich American Insurance Co., also acted in bad faith and caused Home Depot “unnecessary trouble and expense,” the retailer argued.

Causes of Action: Breach of contract, bad faith and stubborn litigiousness.

Relief: Judgment in favor of Home Depot, attorneys’ fees.

Response: The insurance companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Attorneys: Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild and Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore LLP represent Home Depot.

The case is The Home Depot Inc. v. Steadfast Insurance Co., S.D. Ohio, No. 1:21-cv-242, complaint 4/8/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jake Holland in Washington at jholland@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kibkabe Araya at karaya@bloombergindustry.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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