Civil lawsuits from Tricare data breach consolidated in D.C.

Eight civil lawsuits stemming from a security breach that occurred when computer tapes were stolen from an employee of Science Applications International Corp. will be consolidated to the U.S. District Court for D.C.

The decision, filed June 27 by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, centralizes five actions in D.C., one action each in the Northern District of California, Southern District of California, and the Western District of Texas. All eight actions arose from the September 2011 theft of computer tapes from an SAIC employee that contained private health information, including Social Security numbers, of about 4.9 million active duty and retired service members and their families.

Defendants include SAIC, the U.S. Department of Defense, defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Tricare Management Activity that oversees the Tricare military health care insurance system for DOD. Among the claims made against SAIC, which manages the Tricare system, is that the company failed to maintain reasonable procedures to prevent unauthorized access to Tricare beneficiaries' personal information, and violated state laws when it failed to notify the public of the theft until two weeks after the data was stolen.

SAIC sought to dismiss the original suit filed in a Texas court last October, which sought $4.9 billion in damages, arguing that the claims had no merit.

Read the original article from the Washington Business Journal.