Marriott and Starwood face class action lawsuits following data breach

TORONTO — Canadians who stayed at Marriott International Inc. and Starwood Canada ULC hotels are taking legal action against the companies following a security breach.

At least three proposed class actions have been launched in Toronto and Montreal against the U.S.-based company that recently revealed hackers stole contact, credit card, passport and travel information belonging to as many as 500 million guests over four years.

The plaintiffs in the actions, which have yet to be certified, are accusing the company of negligence because they say Marriott and Starwood were “reckless” with and did not safeguard personal information.

“It is deeply concerning that Marriott appears to have failed in implementing or maintaining reasonable security measures to protect the integrity of its guests’ personal information,” said Sajjad Nematollahi, a lawyer at Siskinds LLP, in an email to The Canadian Press.

“The businesses’ failure to protect the individuals’ personal information come at grave costs and result in significant risks to ordinary citizens, for which we believe the wrongdoers must be held accountable.”

Nematollahi is representing Glen Winder, an Ontario-based member of Starwood’s Preferred Guest loyalty program, in a class-action filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The suit is seeking damages and a declaration that Marriott and Starwood “intentionally or recklessly…invaded the private affairs” of Winder and other Canadians in a “highly offensive way” that caused “distress, humiliation or anguish.”

Marriott declined to discuss the cases or accusations, saying the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Meanwhile, Zachary Schnarr of Toronto and lawyers at Koskie Minsky LLP are asking for damages on behalf of all Canadian Marriott customers whose data was improperly accessed.

In a court filing Schnarr said he provided the company with his personal information when a reservation was made for him at the Westin Hotel in Toronto in September and that Marriott and Starwood were aware their actions would have a “significant adverse impact” on guests.

“The defendant’s conduct was high-handed, reckless, without care, deliberate,” he said in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice filing.

Another Starwood loyalty program member, Won Kil Bai, has filed a class action in the Superior Court of Quebec through lawyers at Woods LLP for an unspecified amount.

Marriott and Starwood, which have refused to share how many Canadians may have had their data breached, operate 77 former Starwood branded hotels in Canada.

Marriott purchased Starwood two years, becoming the operator of brands including W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton and Westin.

The company has set up a hotline for guests who suspect their personal information has been breached to receive more information on the incident.

The breach is believed to be among the largest data breaches on record.

Just Posted

Poll suggests Canadian trust in science falling, scientists thought ‘elitist’

A survey suggests that the trust Canadians place in science may be… Continue reading

Court hears disclosure arguments in Meng Wanzhou case

VANCOUVER — Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s case is scheduled to return to… Continue reading

Red Deer woman lives 102 years with humour, ‘gentle strength’ — and porridge

Minnie Deibert was surrounded by family and friends at her birthday party Sunday

Boy escapes serious injury after falling from third-storey window

SURREY, B.C. — A little boy is very lucky to have escaped… Continue reading

Harmonic singing for young women will be taught at a fall workshop in Red Deer

The Hearts of Harmony Chorus is presenting the Nov. 16 session

Your community calendar

Tuesday Bower Place Community Association Seniors Card and Coffee party at 1:30… Continue reading

Liberals pitch middle-class savings as second full week of campaign beckons

OTTAWA — The Liberals tried to turn the page on Justin Trudeau’s… Continue reading

Democrats blast latest Trump crisis. But what will they do?

WASHINGTON — A whistleblower’s complaint over President Donald Trump’s interactions with a… Continue reading

Face transplant recipient’s donor face now failing

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A woman who was severely burned in a domestic… Continue reading

Charity boat with 182 migrants waits to dock in Europe

A non-profit-run ship carrying 182 migrants rescued on the Mediterranean Sea sailed… Continue reading

Singh-Trudeau meeting will be private, say Liberals, but no time set yet

OTTAWA — The Liberal Party pledged Saturday to keep private the details… Continue reading

Glen Assoun calls for reform in how Ottawa considers cases of wrongful conviction

HALIFAX — Tethered to an ankle monitor and alone in a British… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Saturday nights $9 million Lotto 649 jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $9 million jackpot… Continue reading

Most Read