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Capital One Data Breach Judge Opts for Proposed Leadership Slate

Dec. 3, 2019, 10:05 PM

Data breach litigation regulars Norman E. Siegel, Karen Hanson Riebel, and John Yanchunis will serve as co-lead counsel in the Capital One data breach cases, the judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation in the Eastern District of Virginia said.

Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the appointments Dec. 2, noting that he is still considering the need for a plaintiffs’ steering committee as well.

Over 60 class actions filed since Capital One’s July 29 disclosure of a massive data breach—which implicated the personal information of millions of customers—were sent to the court in Alexandria, Va., because of its proximity to the company’s headquarters.

Siegel, Riebel, and Yanchunis all have extensive experience leading data breach MDLs, and suggested the court pick them together to lead the litigation.

Siegel of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP in Kansas City, Mo., “has led or substantively participated in nearly every major consumer data beach case litigated over the past several years,” he told the court in his application for lead counsel.

He specifically pointed to his service as lead counsel in the Equifax, Home Depot, and Quest cases, and on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in Marriott.

His firm and one other filed a complaint against Capital One July 31, two days after the breach was announced.

Riebel, of Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP in Minneapolis, has served as co-lead counsel in three data breach MDLs, and has held leadership positions in several cases including Target and Yahoo!, she told the court in her application.

Her firm and three others filed a complaint against Capital One Aug. 5.

Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group in Tampa, Fla., has served as lead counsel in Yahoo, on the steering committee in Equifax, and co-lead counsel in Home Depot, among other appointments, he said in his application.

His firm and one other filed a complaint against Capital One the day after the announcement.

Trenga announced in his Nov. 1 pretrial order No. 1 that he would pick lead counsel without the typical hearing.

David L. Balser of King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta is defendants’ lead counsel.

The case is In re Capital One Customer Data Sec. Breach Litig., E.D. Va., No. 19-2915, 12/2/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com