April 20, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Second former Sony Pictures employee files lawsuit against Culver City studio

A second proposed class-action lawsuit was filed by former employees of Sony Pictures on Tuesday, alleging the Culver City studio failed to protect their personal information from computer hackers.

In their lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, former movie production workers Yvonne Yaconelli and Susan Dukow allege the company should have notified employees earlier that their data was stolen. They allege Sony violated California laws meant to protect sensitive financial and medical information.

“In the days preceding the breach, Sony knew or should have known plaintiffs’ and class members’ highly sensitive private information was at increased risk of exposure and publication,” the suit states.

The alleged harm the plaintiffs and the other proposed class members suffered is “irreversible,” the suit states.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

On Monday in Los Angeles federal court, former Sony employees Michael Corona and Christina Mathis filed a lawsuit alleging that their names, Social Security numbers, former addresses and other confidential data was stolen and made public as a result of security weaknesses in Sony’s computer network.

An email to Sony Pictures corporate press office requesting for comment was not immediately answered.

Corona and Mathis — whose former jobs at the company are not specified in the suit — claim that they have been forced to spend hundreds of dollars on identity theft protection as a result of the theft of their information.

The complaint alleges that Sony did little to strengthen its security protection after what it alleges is a history of data breaches, including the 2011 hack of Sony’s PlayStation Network.

Corona and Mathis are seeking class-action status for the suit on behalf of current and former Sony Pictures employees, at least $1,000 in damages, and information-monitoring services and identity-theft insurance for each eventual plaintiff.

The lawsuit claims the studio was aware that its computer system was vulnerable, but decided to make a “business decision to accept the risk” rather than fix the problem.

In the latest cyberattack, which was made public Nov. 24, the hackers, calling themselves Guardians of Peace, released troves of internal documents containing information that included employees’ Social Security numbers and executives’ salaries. The breach is expected to cost Sony tens of millions of dollars in computer security upgrades and measures to control the damage.

Federal investigators suspect that North Korea may be behind the attack, in retribution for the upcoming release of the film “The Interview.”

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