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updated: 12/23/2013 7:36 AM

Batavia restaurant owners sue Target over security breach

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The owners of a Batavia restaurant are suing the retail giant Target on behalf of themselves and 40 million customers who recently were affected by debit and credit card security breach.

Chicago attorney Thomas A. Zimmerman Jr. said he filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status Friday in Cook County on behalf of Due Fratelli Inc., which owns Aliano's Ristorante in Batavia, claiming breach of contract, unjust enrichment and more.

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Minnesota-based Target acknowledged Thursday that information connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a security breach between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Target said the breach affected customers who made in-store purchases across the country. The stolen data include customer names along with card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes.

The restaurant's owner declined to comment, directing all questions to his lawyer.

Zimmerman said his clients made several in-store purchases at Target in early December, then noticed a suspicious $1,300 charge for an Amazon purchase around Dec. 10.

A percentage of each purchase made at Target goes to fund the company's technology and security departments, Zimmerman said. He expects to find out during the lawsuit's discovery process exactly what that percentage is, he added.

"If they didn't protect (customers' information), you're not getting what you paid for, and that would constitute breach of contract," he said.

Also, anyone among the 40 million customers whose identity was used fraudulently can claim additional damages, he said.

The lawsuit also claims unjust enrichment, because Target profited from charging customers to fund its security department but failed to safeguard their information, Zimmerman said.

"Due Fratelli is seeking to recover the unjust enrichment damages for the overpaying on behalf of everybody, as well as actual damages that anyone may have sustained as a result of any actual identity theft that has occurred," he said.

A judge will have to rule on Zimmerman's motion to certify the lawsuit's class-action status.

No court date has been set yet, Zimmerman said.

Previous similar class-action lawsuit claims connected to retail security breaches have been upheld by courts, resulting in settlements across the country, Zimmerman said.

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