CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a lawsuit Thursday against Equifax regarding a data breach that exposed the information of 148 million consumers.
According to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office, half of West Virginia’s population — more than 730,000 people — were exposed to the risk of identity theft, financial fraud and other harms as a result of the data breach.
The lawsuit, filed in Boone County Circuit Court, alleges Equifax did nothing to secure its one dispute portal despite warnings regarding vulnerability months before the data breach happened. It also alleges Equifax failed to recognize the problem when hackers reached the system in May 2017.
“Equifax’s failure to secure consumers’ personal information constitutes a shocking betrayal of public trust and an egregious violation of West Virginia consumer protection and data privacy laws,” Morrisey said in a statement.
Morrisey is seeking $150,000 for each security breach as well as $5,000 for each violation of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.