The Madison County Record Dec. 22, 2014, 2:15pm

Hundreds of plaintiffs have sued Schnuck Markets, alleging the company disclosed their credit and debit card numbers to computer hackers.

Lead plaintiff Clyde Allen and at least 100 other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit Dec. 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Schnuck Markets.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege computer hackers gained access to Schnuck Markets' computer network on Dec. 9, 2012. Customers who purchased items at the store using plastic cards were prone to the hackers, who harvested the customers' personal information and confidential financial data, according to the complaint.

"The hackers were able to obtain customers' PII/CFD because defendant's computer network and plastic card processing systems did not comply with industry-wide data security standards with which defendant was required to comply in order to accept plastic cards," the suit states.

Schnuck Markets did nothing about the breach for at least three months, even though banks had warned the store about fraudulent charges customers had incurred, the complaint says.

As a result of the security breach, the plaintiffs allege they incurred financial losses, suffered embarrassment and damages to their personal credit. They also suffered other damages from their inability to access funds, lost time mitigating their increased risk of identity theft and fraud and endured mental and emotional anguish, according to the complaint.

"Defendant has not reimbursed plaintiffs for financial losses and other damages they suffered as a result of the unauthorized disclosure of their PII/CFD," the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege negligence, breach of implied contract and violation of the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act

The plaintiffs seek damages of more than $200,000, plus costs, attorney fees and other relief the court deems just.

Attorneys John J. Driscoll and Christopher J. Quinn, of The Driscoll Firm in St. Louis, will represent the plaintiffs.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 14-L-785.

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