T-Mobile Accused of Violating FTC Act in New Post-Breach Suit

Sept. 2, 2021, 3:39 PM

T-Mobile U.S. Inc. finds itself facing another proposed class action following its announcement last month of a widespread data breach that affected millions of current and former customers’ information.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based telecommunications giant’s poor security posture constitutes a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, plaintiff Sheila Hamilton-Bynum alleged in a complaint filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The company acted negligently by failing to adopt strong security measures that may have prevented the unauthorized access of users’ personally identifiable information, alleged Hamilton-Bynum, a Georgia resident.

T-Mobile’s failure to maintain those data security protocols constitutes an unfair or deceptive practice under the FTC Act, she added.

“T-Mobile was at all times fully aware of its obligations to protect the PII of consumers because of its business model of collecting PII and storing payment information,” attorneys representing Hamilton-Bynum wrote. “T-Mobile was also aware of the significant repercussions that would result from its failure to do so.”

Hamilton-Bynum alleged that she and prospective class members face “years of constant surveillance of their financial and personal records” following the breach.

The lawsuit comes as T-Mobile faces similar litigation from plaintiffs hailing from states including Alabama, California, Louisiana, and Illinois.

Causes of Action: Negligence and negligence per se, violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, declaratory judgment.

Relief: Damages, class certification, attorneys’ fees, declaratory and injunctive relief.

Potential Class Size: Millions.

Response: T-Mobile didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Attorneys: Connor & Sargent PLLC, Carlson Lynch LLP, Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP, The Finley Firm P.C., Murray Law Firm, and Zimmerman Reed LLP represent the plaintiff and proposed class.

The case is Hamilton-Bynum v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., W.D. Wash., No. 2:21-cv-1190, complaint 9/1/21.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kibkabe Araya at karaya@bloombergindustry.com

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