T-Mobile MDL Update: Where Are We Now?
The end of last month the T-Mobile MDL, In re: T-Mobile Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 3019, had its first hearing before the Western District of Missouri. The parties tended to a number of preliminary matters that will set the stage for one of the must-watch data privacy litigations in 2022. Read on to learn more.
A quick recap to get any fresh readers up to speed: In August 2021, T-Mobile disclosed that it had been the victim of a cyberattack that resulted in the compromise of some current, former and prospective customers’ SSN, name, address, date of birth and driver’s license/ID information. By T-Mobile’s account, no “customer financial information, credit card information, debit or other payment information” was exposed in the attack. Nevertheless, over 40 putative class action claims were filed seeking damages for the improper disclosure of personal information. On December 3, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred and centralized the putative class actions into the MDL standing before the Western District of Missouri.
On December 22, the court issued an order on general practice and procedure and setting the first pretrial conference for January 25. This brings us to the present. At the pretrial conference, the court set out proposed timelines and discussed counsels’ leadership structure.
First, the court noted the need to address the leadership structure of Plaintiffs’ counsel. With more the combination of more than 40 putative class actions, keeping plaintiffs’ counsel organized is an important step. Plaintiffs have proposed to have three lawyers appointed as lead counsel, with an executive committee of another five to seven attorneys. Motions for appointment to these positions were due February 1, 2022, so expect to see updates coming before too long.
Once leadership counsel has been appointed, they will have 45 days to file a master consolidated complaint. At that point, the ball will really start rolling with the beginning of discovery and motions to dismiss or compel arbitration due another 45 days later. One thing is for sure, this is sure to be a case to keep an eye on.