This week, a North Carolina federal judge denied Filters Fast LLC’s motion to dismiss a proposed data breach class action, ruling that the plaintiffs demonstrated adequate harm to satisfy Article III standing.

The class action stems from a data breach that occurred between July 2019 and July 2020 through Filters Fast’s shopping website. Plaintiffs claim that the breach occurred as a result of Filters Fast’s negligence.

Filters Fast moved to dismiss the proposed class action, arguing that the customers could not establish standing to sue in federal court because they did not assert any concrete harm. However, the court agreed with the plaintiffs who had alleged misuse of their payment cards as a result of the breach. While the plaintiffs did not allege an economic injury as a result of this breach, the plaintiffs did show misuse of their personal data, the court said in its decision.

The court wrote, “These allegations of actual misuse bring the ‘actual and threatened harm’ alleged by Plaintiffs ‘out of the realm of speculation and into the realm of sufficiently imminent and particularized harm.’” This is a lower standard than some other data breach class action cases currently being litigated so we will watch to see how the case proceeds.

In addition to facing this proposed class action, Filters Fast entered into a $200,000 settlement agreement with the New York Attorney General as a result of an investigation by the state related to the same breach.