Wawa Sued after Months-Long Data Breach

A class action complaint has been filed against Wawa, Inc. by former customers of the gas station and convenience store chain. The complaint, filed on January 9 in the District of Delaware, alleges that Wawa egregiously failed to secure payment information that was stored on the proprietary Wawa payment processing servers.

On December 19, 2019, Wawa revealed that there had been malicious software located on the payment processing servers used to process credit and debit card transactions nationwide. Wawa did confirm that their system does use Secure Socket Layer software to encrypt the payment and account information while the information is in transit from the individual stores to the payment processing servers. However, the malware was located on the payment processing servers and had access to the information after the payment information had been received. The malware had access to the information from March 4 through December 12 of 2019, when it was discovered and contained by Wawa.

The malware appears to have been pervasive and had access to information from customers nationwide, leading the potential class action pool to be potentially very large and include any customers who paid via credit card during the above period in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia, or Florida. The two named parties in the complaint do not allege any specific damages at this state in the litigation, however discovery may prove specific damages regarding particular security breaches. The complaint specifically seeks damages due to the lengthy amount of time that the malware had access to the information, specifying this fact in support of a count of gross negligence.

The complaint alleges counts of gross negligence, negligence per se, breach of implied contract, violation of the Delaware Computer Security Breach Act (6 Del. C. §§ 12B- 102, et seq.), violation of the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act (6 Del. C. §§ 2513, et seq.), and unjust enrichment. The damages that are being sought in the class action are actual, consequential, punitive, and treble damages as well as attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and court costs.  The class action is currently being represented by Farnan LLP, Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, The Coffman Law Firm, and Mitchell A. Toups, Ltd.