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AMC Theatres Hopes to Keep Two MOVEit Cyberattack Cases Out of Boston

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A theater chain is asking a judge to rule on the venue for two MOVEit-related data breach lawsuits that may involve questions about arbitration.

American Multi-Cinema wants U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs to keep one case filed against it, Newman v. American Multi-Cinema, and a similar case, Cooper v. American Multi-Cinema, out of a multidistrict litigation process in Boston that’s managing pretrial proceedings for most federal MOVEit lawsuits, including several against major financial services firms like Genworth and TIAA.

AMC has been trying to shift the cases into arbitration.

If Burroughs gets jurisdiction over the cases, she would have to “analyze AMC’s arbitration provision based on Kansas state law,” and resolving AMC’s motion to compel arbitration would probably take longer, AMC said in a motion filed in late December.

What it means: How Burroughs responds to the AMC motion will show how a federal court handles a collision between arbitration agreements, data breach suits, and the federal multidistrict litigation framework.

By now, most financial professionals and most clients have been affected by data breaches, and most are involved in activities covered by agreements or terms of service that include arbitration provisions. That means that, ultimately, how the AMC motion is handled could affect other financial services litigation involving data breach victims who may be subject to arbitration agreements.

The MOVEit attack: The MOVEit multidistrict litigation is the result of a big cyberattack that hit in May.

Hackers got into computers used to operate the MOVEit data transfer service.

The attack may have affected about 26 million U.S. life, pension and annuity client accounts.

The victims have responded by filing more than 100 federal lawsuits. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided in October 2023 to put Burroughs in charge of the pretrial proceedings for the suits.

AMC: AMC is a Leawood, Kansas-based company that operates about 900 movie theaters around the world.

It told the Texas attorney general in July that hackers used MOVEit to get access to names, Social Security numbers and other sensitive personal information gathered by AMC.

Melanie Newman and Nicholas Cooper, the plaintiffs in the two suits that name AMC as a defendant, are former AMC employees who are covered by binding, mandatory arbitration agreements, according to AMC.

Newman is seeking class-action status for a suit filed in Kansas in August. Cooper filed a related case around the same time. Burroughs is moving MOVEit cases to her court with conditional transfer orders.

AMC put its request for the Newman and Cooper cases to stay in Kansas in a motion to vacate the transfer order affecting those cases.

Representatives for AMC, Newman and Cooper did not respond to requests for comments about the case.

Credit: Sergey Nivens/Adobe Stock


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