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Morrisons staff sue over data breach

Grocery giant Morrisons is being sued by thousands of current and former employees in a class action over damages brought about from a data leak.

The case at London’s High Court follows a breach of security in 2014, when a former senior internal auditor working at the retailer’s Bradford HQ posted the payroll information of nearly 100,000 employees on the internet.

The information included bank, salary and national insurance details, phone numbers and addresses.

Andrew Skelton apparently bore a grudge against Morrisons and was jailed for eight years in 2015 fro fraud, securing unauthorised access to computer material and disclosing personal data.

The new case is being viewed as the first data leak class action in the UK, with legal experts agreeing that the case has potential implications for every individual and business in the country.

The two-week trial is concerned with the use of liability, involving claims brought by 5,518 current and former Morrison staff, who allege the company failed to prevent the leak.

The claimants also allege that the data leak exposed them to identity theft and potential financial loss, with Morrisons responsible for breaches of privacy confidence and data protection laws.

The lawsuit is being brought bylaw firm JMW Solicitors.

Discussing the case, Nick McAleenan, partner at JMW Solicitors said: “The court will decide whether Morrisons bears any legal responsibility for the misuse and disclosure of the payroll information of the many thousands of people bringing claims in this case.”

Morrisons denies liability.