Supreme Court begins hearing Morrisons data claim

Two-day appeal in Supreme Court starts today in case concerning massive employee data breach

Various Claimants v Morrisons Supermarkets plc  is a group litigation claim on behalf of 5,518 claimant employees of Morrisons concerning a data leak in 2014 intentionally carried out by a disgruntled employee who sent the payroll data of 99,998 employees to local newspapers and uploaded it onto a file sharing website. The leaker’s motive was to harm his employer.

The claimants won at first instance and on appeal.

The Supreme Court will hear argument as to (i) whether the DPA excludes the application of vicarious liability to a breach of that Act, or for misuse of private information or breach of confidence; and (ii) whether the Court of Appeal erred in concluding that the disclosure of data by the appellant’s employee occurred in the course of his employment, for which the appellant should be held vicariously liable.

Jonathan Barnes and Victoria Jolliffe of 5RB appear for the Claimants/Respondents, instructed by JMW Solicitors LLP