NEWS: Personal injury and class action law firm Weitz & Luxenberg in NYC today announced it has begun investigating cases arising from the recently discovered hacking of 10.5 million Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield customers’ confidential records.
Weitz & Luxenberg said that Excellus is a health insurer in western New York. The law firm said it initiated this probe to assist data breach victims establish their legal rights against Excellus and its affiliate, Lifetime Healthcare Cos., also targeted by the hackers.
The data breach occurred just before the end of 2013 but went unnoticed by Excellus and Lifetime Healthcare until last month, Weitz & Luxenberg said.
“We find it very troubling that so much time passed between the data breach and its discovery,” said James Bilsborrow, an attorney with Weitz & Luxenberg’s Environmental, Toxic Tort and Consumer Protection unit.
“We will want to ascertain why Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield and Lifetime Healthcare did not detect the data breach sooner,” he said. “The answer will have bearing upon the amount of compensation victims of the data breach could potentially be entitled to.”
Excellus Data Breach Opens Door To Other Crimes:
Excellus and Lifetime Healthcare customers may be entitled to a recovery of money if the personal information stolen in the data breach has been or will be used to commit financial crimes, said Robin L. Greenwald, Weitz & Luxenberg attorney in charge of the firm’s Environmental, Toxic Tort and Consumer Protection unit.
“News reports about the data breach indicate that among the information stolen from policy holders and beneficiaries were account numbers, contact details, birthdates, Social Security numbers, financial account information, claims information and more,” said Greenwald.
“Effectively, what the hackers took was everything necessary to commit credit fraud,” she said. “The innocent people whose information is fraudulently used will be stuck owing hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to deceived merchants and lenders.”
Bilsborrow said Weitz & Luxenberg’s investigation of the Excellus-Lifetime Healthcare data breach includes plans to sit down with the victims to identify and articulate their rights to recover damages for the fraudulent use of their personal information.
“Excellus and Lifetime Healthcare members are entitled to a no-cost evaluation of their legal rights and potential grounds for recovery,” said Bilsborrow. “Having this discussion with us does not obligate them to do anything beyond that.”
Bilsborrow said the free evaluation can be secured by contacting Weitz & Luxenberg at (212) 558-5925 or by filling out a request form online at http://www.weitzlux.com/.
Excellus Data Breach Hackers Struck in 2013:
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Lifetime Healthcare stated that they do not know how the data breach occurred.
They know only that hackers broke into the companies’ computer system on December 23, 2013, and continued to have illegal access for some time after that date, Weitz & Luxenberg said, citing news reports.
Excellus and Lifetime Healthcare realized on August 5 of this year that they had been hacked, the firm said.
According to formal statements made by the companies, the data breach affected about 7 million Excellus members and about 3.5 million Lifetime Healthcare customers.
However, the data breach also affected an unspecified number of patients insured by other Blue Cross Blue Shield entities, Weitz and Luxenberg noted.
The law firm said the Excellus-Lifetime Healthcare data breach also snared the records of customers of several affiliate companies.
They are Lifetime Benefit Solutions, Lifetime Care, Lifetime Health Medical Group, The MedAmerica Companies and Univera Healthcare, Weitz & Luxenberg said.
About Weitz & Luxenberg:
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. is among the nation’s leading and most readily recognized personal injury and consumer protection law firms. Weitz & Luxenberg’s numerous litigation areas include: mesothelioma, defective medicine and devices, environmental pollutants, products liability, consumer protection, accidents, personal injury, and medical malpractice. Victims of consumer fraud are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg’s more than 25 years of experience handling such cases. You can contact the firm’s Client Relations department at 800-476-6070 or at email@example.com.
More information: http://www.weitzlux.com/.
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