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People's may face class-action suit

  Class Action  -   POSTED: 2008/04/21 20:54

A New Haven-based law firm dove into the fray over People's United Bank's alleged failure to protect customers' information from Dumpster divers. "We don't comment on pending litigation," said People's spokeswoman Valerie Carlson, of the new lawsuit filed in Bridgeport Superior Court Monday.

Michael Stratton, partner and founder of the firm Stratton Faxon, said he notified an attorney for People's of his intention to seek class action status for a suit filed on behalf of five customers worried their information could have been exposed to identity theft by the bank's alleged failure to properly dispose of private information.

"Some People's Bank customers were pretty upset," Stratton said after reading a Connecticut Post report that Fairfield resident James Hastings had spent months pulling many unshredded papers listing private information, including account and Social Security numbers, from trash bins at branches in Fairfield County.

The bank didn't know about Hastings' activities until Hastings showed up at its headquarters with a video depicting him rummaging through the trash and pulling out documents. Hastings still has documents he culled from branch Dumpsters, although police raided his home and seized some documents. The bank is suing Hastings; that case begins today in Bridgeport Superior Court.


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