A trade group representing Pennsylvania credit unions has joined a class-action lawsuit against Equifax, saying financial institutions will incur years of fraud-related expenses because of the recent data breach at the company.
The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association is one of eight state and regional trade groups to join the suit since the Credit Union National Association filed it Oct. 4.
The complaint alleges that credit unions will be on the hook for costs like canceling and reissuing compromised credit cards, reimbursing members for fraudulent charges, increasing fraudulent activity monitoring and notifying members of fraud on their accounts because of the breach.
“We believe it is our responsibility to protect credit unions and their members that have recognized financial losses as a result of the Equifax data breach,” PCUA president and CEO Patrick Conway said in a news release. “Representing credit unions in this manner will ensure they have a voice as Equifax is held accountable for current damages, future losses and data security risks.”
Hackers accessed personal information belonging to more than 145 million people during a breach at the credit-reporting agency earlier this year. Equifax did not inform consumers about the breach until September, about five weeks after the company became aware of it, drawing ire from consumer advocates and eliciting calls for strengthened cybersecurity and data breach notification laws.
The Credit Union National Association’s class-action lawsuit is one of more than 70 such suits filed against Equifax since September. Several states, including Pennsylvania, have also launched investigations into the credit-reporting agency’s actions leading up to and following the breach.