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Target data breach lawsuits rolled into single case, headed for St. Paul court

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A federal panel has consolidated dozens of lawsuits filed over Target's data breach into a single legal action.

The Pioneer Press reports the 33 lawsuits were filed in seven states including Minnesota since last fall's breach. The consolidated case will be heard by U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson in St. Paul.

The five-page order comes from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

The plaintiffs in the suits include banks and credit card companies that have been replacing payment cards of the 40 million shoppers whose card numbers were compromised in the breach. Hackers also gained access to personal data of 70 million Target customers during the attack in November and December.

In addition to the lawsuits, the consolidation order also rolls more than 50 other legal actions into the case. The Business Journal says those include filings by big investors such as the Police Retirement System of St. Louis.

In explaining its decision the panel writes "...we find that these actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in the District of Minnesota will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation."

As Reuters notes, conserving the resources of the court system and other parties to the case was another factor cited in the order.

According to the panel, Minneapolis-based Target supports the consolidation, although a company representative would not comment to the Pioneer Press.

The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch reported this week that a quarterly Consumer Tracking Survey showed customers giving Target lower scores for service and overall shopping experience since the data breach.

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