Tech by VICE

There Are Now Four Class Action Lawsuits Against Ashley Madison in the US

The plaintiffs are all unnamed, choosing instead to sue as John Does and Jane Does.

by Sarah Jeong
Aug 26 2015, 3:00pm

Image: frankieleon/Flickr

Lawsuits against Ashley Madison have been stacking up ever since hackers breached the site and published the personal information of its users. A total of four class action lawsuits against Ashley Madison have been filed in the US so far—two in California, one in Texas, and one in Missouri.

The plaintiffs are all unnamed, choosing instead to sue as Does. Two are male (John Doe), one is female (Jane Doe), and five have not disclosed their gender (J. Doe).

Three of the four lawsuits were filed in the last week, following the massive dump of user information. The Missouri suit, however, had already been filed in July, shortly after hackers first claimed that they had breached the Ashley Madison site.

All four lawsuits claim negligence and breach of implied contract, and then contain a hodge-podge of other causes of action between them. Two claim infliction of emotional distress, and two claim violations of the Stored Communications Act, a federal statute that governs when internet service providers and online services can or must disclose customer communications or records. Dozens of state consumer protection laws—such as laws requiring timely notification after a data breach—have also been invoked.

Each lawsuit claims over $5 million in damages. This means very little, since a lawsuit must involve at least $5 million in damages to qualify as a class action under the Class Action Fairness Act.

Avid Life Media, the company that owns the Ashley Madison site, is also facing a class action lawsuit in Canada.

Read the complaints here:

Jane Doe v. Avid Life Media (Eastern District of Missouri)

John Doe v. Avid Life Media (Northern District of Texas)

John Doe v. Avid Life Media (Central District of California)

J. Doe v. Avid Life Media (Central District of California)