Judge Stands Down From Home Depot Lawsuit

A judge presiding over one of the lawsuits taken against Home Depot over its recent data breach has stepped down from the case for undisclosed reasons.

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Photo: bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock

Anchor Bank in St. Paul, Minnesota had begun legal action against the hardware retailer over “significant damages” incurred by the hack attack. However, the federal judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. has recused himself from the case.

In papers filed on October 17, Batten stated that he had “discovered a conflict in the above-styled action and therefore must recuse from ruling in this case.” It has not been specified what the conflict is.

Judges are permitted to remove themselves from a case by their own will if they feel their objectivity may be in question but they are not compelled to reveal the new reason why, says Biz Journals. A new judge will be appointed to the case shortly.

In its case, Anchor Bank says it and other banks like it “have incurred significant damages totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including but not limited to: reissuing debit and credit cards, loss of customers, costs of covering fraudulent charges, notifying customers of the breach, and handling customer service inquiries and investigations related to the breach.”

The lawsuit adds that Home Depot will be challenged for “its failure to secure and safeguard its customers’ personal and private financial information.”

“Home Depot’s negligent security lapses enabled the theft of its customers’ financial information, as well as subsequent fraudulent charges on their debit and credit cards.”

The Anchor Bank lawsuit is just one of 21 cases that Home Depot is facing. Anchor Bank is hoping to apply for a class action suit where others can join for a combined case against the embattled retailer. The cases against the company also include individuals, with cases emerging in Illinois and Ontario.

It is still not clear who is responsible for the massive breach that compromised more than 60 million people. However earlier this month, two men were arrested in Texas on suspicion of being involved in the breach, no further information has emerged since they were arrested.