Plaintiffs in Premera lawsuit allege insurance company willfully destroyed data breach evidence

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs in a federal class-action data breach lawsuit filed against Premera Blue Cross have entered a motion for sanctions against the health insurance organization for allegedly destroying key evidence in the case with willful intent.

Filed on Aug. 30 in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., the motion claims Premera ordered the spoliation of a key computer hard drive, as well as data loss prevention log files, that many have contained proof that customers’ sensitive personal data was exfiltrated by hackers. The plaintiffs have alleged that Premera either knew or should have known that the destroyed equipment and records could have held key information that the defense would want to review to solidify its case.

The breach, which was traced back to a May 2014 attack, affected roughly 11 million Premera Blue Cross members and applicants whose data was stored on the Mountlake Terrance, Wash.-based company’s IT systems. Victims responded to the incident with a series of class-action lawsuits, which were later consolidated.

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