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New Motion Claims Immunity in SC Hacking Lawsuit

4:33 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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Richland County, SC (WLTX) -- Three motions have been filed to dismiss the class-action lawsuit over the data breach at the Revenue Department.

The lawsuit filed in October 2012, charges Gov. Haley, the former Director of the Revenue Department Jim Etter, the Department of State Information Technology, and the company Trustwave with failure to protect the citizens of South Carolina from the hacking that has taken place.

Previous Coverage: Class Action Suit Filed in SC Hacking Case

Motions, filed in the Fifth Judicial Circuit, request a judge dismiss the lawsuit because the three Defendants have immunity under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.

The motions also claim that the lawsuit should be thrown out since the data breach is the subject of an on-going investigation and that there is no support for the claims of gross negligence.

The lawsuit was originally filed by former SC Lawmaker and Attorney John Hawkins of Spartanburg. Hawkins told News19 Monday that he believes he will be able to prove the state failed to protect the data of some 4 million tax payers.

"The legal standard is so high that for a defendant to get this dismissed," said Hawkins. "They have a very difficult thing they have to do to win that motion."

Hawkins added it will ultimately be up to a judge on whether the motions are dismissed. They will go before Richland County judge on February 7th.

State law limits the amount that public agencies can be ordered to pay to $600,000 per occurrence. That means that, under a single hacking incident, all the people seeking to recover money from the Department of Revenue would have to split the $600,000.

WLTX uncovered the overseas plot to steal the identities of millions of people in South Carolina last October. Nearly 4 million tax payers social security numbers were exposed to a hacker during that data breach.

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