Shaw's shoppers sue over credit-card breach

A couple who used to shop at the Melrose Shaw's is suing the chain's parent companies over a massive credit-card breach disclosed earlier this month - saying they never would have shopped at the store if they'd known it was overseen by a bunch of incompetent boobs unable to learn from previous retail breaches or even apply industry-standard security measures.

Joanne and Thomas St Pierre filed their suit last week in US District Court in Boston. They're seeking to become lead plaintiffs in a class-action suit against New Albertson's, Inc. and AB Acquisition, LLC, which own several supermarket chains, including Shaw's/Star Market, and Supervalu, Inc., which provides credit-card processing for the chains.

Had Plaintiffs known that Defendants did not abide by industry-standard cybersecurity practices, they would have paid less or not shopped at Shaw’s at all.

The St Pierres cite several articles on the breach (such as this one) on how it represents a lack of good security practices:

First, the widely reported breaches of point-of-sale systems at, among others, Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels Stores, and P.F. Chang's should have put Defendants on notice to ensure that their own systems were not vulnerable to a similar attack. In an August 15, 2014 story, the New York Times quoted Steve Hultquist, an executive at RedSeal Networks, a security firm, as stating that the Breach in this case "looks much the same as the attack that impacted Target last year." The Target breach was first reported in December 2013. The Target breach affected tens of millions of people, was the subject of a Congressional investigation, led to dozens of lawsuits and resulted in the resignations of Target's CEO and its Chief Information Officer.

They add the companies' promise to provide credit-monitoring services is worse than useless because thieves would use credit-card information to make individual purchases, which wouldn't affect a person's credit rating, which means customers are going to have to go through a laborious process of changing all the credit and debit cards they used to shop at the supermarkets.

In addition to their request to be lead plaintiffs, the St Pierre's are seeking unspecified damages, penalties and lawyers' fees.

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    Comments

    "...Would have paid less."

    By on

    To what possible end?!? Credit card scammers only steal the accounts of people who buy lots of groceries? Who knew?!?

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    I believe the implication is

    By on

    I believe the implication is that having known Shaw's security practices were so shoddy, they would have shopped elsewhere, and thus paid less for their groceries because Shaw's prices are not competitive. Of course one would argue that generally the reason people shop there is they don't have other [good] options. For example in an area where Shaw's is the only store or most conveniently placed one for someone without a car.

    As an illustration in Allston you have the following in the neighborhood or close by, but only Shaw's is normal enough and close enough to a trolley stop:
    Shaw's, Stop and Shop, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, 99.

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    Trader Joe's

    By on

    is quite close to the 66 bus and the C-line, and Whole Foods is really close to Washington Street (like a half-block) on the B line. TJ's and WF are actually closer to their respective stops than the Shaw's/Star in Packard's Corner. The Brookline Stop and Shop is close to the 66 as well, and a doable walk to Coolidge Corner.

    Allston Stop and Shop I admit is a bit of a pain to get to from the 66 because the walk from Union Square up Everett Street is decidedly treacherous (no curb, no streetlights, and speeding cars, a curve, and poor sightlines?) but it's quite doable if you have a granny cart, a little free time, and a habit of making excuses to go puttering through Dollar Tree and Home Goods for no real reason. If you take the 64, it stops right in S&S's parking lot. as well.

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    Paid less as in paid cash

    By on

    I've done that one- planned on making a cash purchase only to decide in the store to use debit so I can buy more.

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    Boy, I'll tell ya...

    By on

    The lengths some men will go to rather than tell their wife that a porn site hacked their credit card.

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    Sounds like the St Pierre's

    By on

    Sounds like the St Pierre's personal finances are sparring enough to cause them to file silly lawsutes. I should sue them for making me read about their annoying lawsuit, which had caused personal and emotional distress upon me..

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    Nothing Silly About This

    By on

    Now for the next dozen or so years anyone, and I am in this boat too, who shopped at one of the affected stores during the affected dates is potentially screwed. One is going to constantly need to be on the look for, and possibly a victim of, fradulent charges or identity theft. And all of that could have been prevented with proper security and not storing people's data.

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