Milberg Files Five Guys Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit

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February 3, 2023

by Brian Eckert

Class action attorneys at Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman (“Milberg”) have filed a lawsuit against fast food chain Five Guys stemming from a December 2022 data breach that exposed employment-related personal information.

Current, prospective, and former employees of Five Guys whose information was compromised in the breach may be eligible to join this lawsuit and recover compensation.

Five Guys Aware of Data Breach Since September 2022

In a letter dated December 29, 2022, Five Guys COO Sam Chamberlain announced a “security incident” that occurred on September 17, 2022 and affected “information submitted to us in connection with the employment process.”

The letter does not mention the types of personal information that may have been obtained in the cyberattack. However, a separate letter to the New Hampshire Attorney General indicates that, at a minimum, the attack involved unauthorized access to names and Social Security numbers.

Five Guys, which has more than 1,700 locations and over 5,000 employees worldwide, has not disclosed how the breach happened, how many individuals are impacted by it, or why it took them more than three months to begin notifying victims.

Milberg’s Five Guys Class Action Allegations

Five Guys has offered those affected by the data breach one year of complimentary credit monitoring services. However, according to Milberg’s class action complaint, this remedy is inadequate to address victims’ risk of identify theft and misuse of their personal information.

In fact, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, who previously worked at Five Guys, states that she has repeatedly suffered fraud and identity because Five Guys failed to adequately protect her personal information.

The plaintiff received a data breach notice from Five Guys in January 2023. Prior to this time, she claims that fraudulent charges were made in her name at U-Haul and Walmart.

Most concerning, Five Guys states in its Breach Notice that, “[t]o prevent something like this from happening again, [it has] taken steps to enhance [its] existing security measures.” Not only should these measures have been in place before the Data Breach, Five Guys fails to say specifically what these measures are which is important because Five Guys still maintains Plaintiff’s and Class members’ PII.

Five Guys requested that the plaintiff provide her personal information as a condition of employment. She reasonably assumed that Five Guys would take security measures sufficient to protect her information.

Their failure to do so has not only caused the plaintiff to experience multiple instances of fraud to date, but also places her at risk of future harm. She has spent two full workdays to address the ramifications of the data breach, she says, in addition to experiencing feelings of anxiety, sleep disruption, stress, fear, and frustration.

The actual and potential impacts of the data breach could have been avoided if Five Guys had protected the personal information they collected as part of the employment process. For example, Five Guys did not undertake the basic security measure of encrypting the personal information it stores on computer networks.

The plaintiff asserts that she would not have entrusted her personal information to Five Guys had she known the company would fail to securely protect and maintain her data.

Proposed Class and Damages

Five Guys is headquartered in Lorton, Virginia. Milberg filed a class action lawsuit against Five Guys in U.S. District for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of the plaintiff and the following proposed classes:

  • A national class comprised of anyone residing in the United States whose personal information was compromised in the data breach disclosed by Five Guys in December 2022.
  • A Virginia class comprised of anyone residing in the state whose personal information was compromised in the data breach disclosed by Five Guys in December 2022 and received notice after an unreasonable delay.

The lawsuit seeks damages that include monetary losses, lost time, anxiety, and emotional distress. It cites negligence, breach of implied contract, violation of Virginia data breach notification law, and unjust enrichment as causes of action.

You May Automatically Qualify to Join the Five Guys Lawsuit

If you meet the class criteria, and the lawsuit results in a verdict or settlement, you should receive a notification informing you of your rights.

You do not have to hire a lawyer to join this class action lawsuit. Milberg is representing the class on a contingency-fee basis. We are one of the country’s top class action law firms, with billions of dollars recovered for our clients since 1965.

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