BankInfoSecurity.com reported that the latest lawsuit “…claims the company lacked a cybersecurity program encompassing ransomware issues at the time of the attack, which led it to shut down pipeline operations serving much of the East Coast. It claims the company ignored warnings about cyber risks to interstate pipeline systems.” The June 23, 2021 article entitled “Lawsuits Allege Colonial Pipeline Had Inadequate Cybersecurity” included these comments:
If the lawsuits eventually achieve class action status, the plaintiffs' attorneys would then need to prove that Colonial Pipeline acted negligently and show that the company "owed a duty" to those who claim they were affected.
If there's no clear duty owed to the plaintiffs as to cybersecurity versus operating their pipeline versus fulfilling whatever contract for the purchase of oil and gas they had with Colonial, they wouldn't meet the 'commonality' requirement….
In that case, nothing else would be considered negligence or gross negligence … and their claim will fail entirely regardless of whether the cybersecurity was adequate or not.
These cases will be interesting to follow!
This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.