A Danielson man has filed a federal class action lawsuit against the insurance company, Anthem, and affiliated because of his Social Security Number and other personal information was stolen as part of the Anthem data breach in February.
Frederick Ruhlemann filed the suit and his attorneys said in a statement that the suit could involve thousands of Connecticut residents and millions nationwide who are currently, or were in the past, insured by Anthem, if the court certifies the suit as a class action.
“Mr. Ruhlemann and the other members of this class provided their personal information to Anthem with the understanding and contractual promise that Anthem would safeguard the information,” Ruhlemann’s attorney, David N. Rosen, of David Rosen & Associates PC in New Haven, said in a statement. “Unfortunately for customers of Anthem, their personal financial, and possibly even sensitive health information, was left vulnerable to cyber thieves.”
The complaint says the personal information disclosed in the breach wasn’t encrypted and cyber thieves now have the personal identifying information of up to 80 million current and former Anthem insureds nationwide.
“Encryption is a common practice and is widely considered the most effective way to secure data from being stolen, or used if it is stolen. Due to the data being unencrypted, it was much easier for the cyber thieves to interpret the information and steal the identities of Anthem’s customers,” Rosen said.
Ruhlemann and the other plaintiffs face a “lifelong battle” against identity theft, the complaint alleges.
The complaint also alleges Anthem waited “unreasonably long” to notify consumers of the breach, until stock trading closed for the day on February 4, despite knowing about it days earlier.
Anthem did not comment, saying they do not comment on pending litigation.
In a statement, Anthem said that, in working with the FBI, they have found no evidence that the cyber attackers have shared or sold any members' data and there is no evidence that fraud has occurred against our members, including fraudulent tax returns.
Any current or former members can visitwww.AnthemFacts.com to learn how to access free identity protection services, including identity theft repair assistance, credit monitoring and child identity protection.