27. December 2009 · Comments Off on First Heartland suit dismissed – executives off the hook – for now · Categories: Breaches, Compliance, Legal · Tags: ,

The first adjudicated lawsuit against the executives of Heartland Payment Systems went in favor of the defense.

As I am sure you aware, Heartland Payment Systems is embroiled in countless lawsuits as a result of the disclosure it had to make in January 2009 of a breach of over 130 million credit card numbers. It is considered the largest breach of credit card data in history.

A class action shareholder lawsuit filed against the executives of Heartland was dismissed earlier this month by Judge Anne Thompson of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey on the basis that the executives' claim that they took security seriously was not a lie. Here is the actual opinion.here.

Gene Schultz weighed in with a thoughtful opinion here.

While I am no lawyer, it seems to me that this lawsuit was very narrowly focused and based on my reading of the opinion, it's hard to see how the judge could have found for the plaintiff. 

A lawsuit that would bring out the emails and memos associated with a variety of compliance and security decisions made by the Heartland executives would be more interesting.