Nearly 6,000 to claim damages over Morrisons data leak

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Nearly 6,000 Morrisons staff plan to claim damages
Nearly 6,000 Morrisons staff plan to claim damages

Related tags: Supermarket chain morrisons

Nearly 6,000 current and former staff of supermarket chain Morrisons are to pursue a claim for damages against the company.

The case centres around the action of a disgruntled former employee in 2014, who sent bank, salary and National Insurance details of almost 100,000 members of staff to newspapers and data sharing websites.

Co-ordinating the law suit

JMW Solicitors, a firm based in Manchester, that is co-ordinating the lawsuit, confirmed the final number of current and former employees at 5,954. It

confirmed a case management hearing is listed at the Royal Courts of Justice for May 16 to 18.

Staff are pursuing the claim for damages after having their application for a Group Litigation Order approved by the High Court in London last November.

Last July, employee Andrew Skelton was sentenced to eight years at Bradford Crown Court, after being found guilty of fraud, securing unauthorised access to computer material and disclosing personal data.

Skelton was unhappy about an official warning that stopped him from using the company’s mail room to send out personal packages, the court heard.

The data breach and court case cost Morrisons £2M.

At the time David Holderness reviewing lawyer, complex casework Unit, Crown Prosecution Service Yorkshire and Humberside said that Skelton was in a position of “considerable trust”​ as a senior internal auditor at Morrisons.

‘Abused his position’

He abused this position by uploading this information – which included employees’ names, addresses and bank account details ​ onto various internet websites,”​ he said. 

“He then attempted to cover his tracks and implicate a fellow employee by using this colleague’s details to set up a fake email account​.”

In March, Nick McAleenan, a data privacy lawyer at JMW Solicitors, confirmed that the supermarket chain had filed a formal defence claim in which it denied liability for the leak.

A Morrisons spokesman said: "We are contesting this case and we not accepting liability for the actions of a rogue individual. We are not aware that anybody suffered a financial loss from this breach.”

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3 comments

Why?

Posted by Lynn M,

I was a Morrisons store employee at the time of this data theft, and I have not suffered because of it. I don't understand why this claim is being made given that certain people within a company need to have access to private information of they worked in HR or accounting. This was the fault of the one individual who decided that if he wasn't going to have certain things his way then he made the company pay. They did! They spend a large amount of money on giving every employee an 18 month account with ProtectMyID, so that we could monitor any activity of indentity theft. Morrisons were not at fault and I do not see this claim being successful!

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how can you

Posted by r livingstone,

it is not the fault of Morrison's ,it is the fault of the person who did the deed how can 6000 claim damages probably greedy solicitors urging them on ,cant see them winning unless their identity was stolen

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How many have actually suffered as a result?

Posted by Mike Proctor,

I was working at Morrisons Head Office at the time and have been through the whole thing. What I don't understand is how 6000 can make a claim against the business for damages. Unless you have 'suffered' in some way then surely damages will not be proven to be applicable in a court of law?. My guess is most are chasing pound notes with no real claim able to be demonstrated. I wait to see the results of the case with interest.

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