Ashley Madison Faces $578 Million Class Action Lawsuit

Aug 23, 2015

Two Canadian law firms filed a $578 million class-action lawsuit against the companies that run extramarital-affairs website Ashley Madison over a recent hack that exposed the personal information of about 39 million users.

Charney Lawyers and Sutts, Strosberg LLP—two Canadian law firms—filed the suit on Thursday on behalf of Canadians whose personal information was breached in a company hack. The Toronto-based Avid Dating Life and Avid Life Media, which run the company, are named in the suit.

The lawsuit's class-action status remains to be certified by the court.

"Numerous former users of AshleyMadison.com have approached the law firms to inquire about their privacy rights under Canadian law," the firms said in a statement. "They are outraged that AshleyMadison.com failed to protect its users' information. In many cases, the users paid an additional fee for the website to remove all of their user data, only to discover that the information was left intact and exposed."

The statement went on to say that the class action lawsuit will not seek damages from the hackers who leaked the information.

Ashley Madison has said in previous statements that its members cannot be proven to have had extramarital relationships based on membership with the site alone.

The plaintiff is Eliot Shore, who said he briefly joined Ashley Madison following the death of his wife to breast cancer. Shore said his membership did not result in any meetings with members of the site and that he never cheated on his wife.

The suit joins a $5 million class-action lawsuit filed in Missouri in July. The anonymous female plaintiff in that case claimed she'd paid $19 to Ashley Madison to run a "paid-delete" of her personal information, which was unsuccessful.

Read next: Ashley Madison Users Included White House and Congress Staffers

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