BA facing data breach claim that lawyers say could top £800m

12 January 2021, 20:35 | Updated: 12 January 2021, 20:45

British Airways could face claims totalling more than £800m in a group action over a 2018 data breach, according to a law firm.

The firm, PGMBM, says that more than 16,000 people have signed up to the claim against the carrier.

Lawyers say it is the largest group action personal data claim in UK history.

They estimate that each of the 420,000 customers and staff whose information was leaked could be entitled to £2,000 each in compensation.

The claim relates to a data breach in September 2018 in which names, debit and credit card numbers, addresses and email addresses were leaked.

Some passengers were diverted to a fake website, which harvested their details.

British Airways was last year fined £20m over the incident, reduced from a proposed £183m penalty after the business was battered by the coronavirus crisis.

Tom Goodhead, a partner at PGMBM, said: "We trust companies like British Airways with our personal information and they have a duty to all of their customers and the public at large to take every possible step to keep it safe.

"In this instance, they presided over a monumental failure."

British Airways said: "We continue to vigorously defend the litigation in respect of the claims brought arising out of the 2018 cyber attack.

"We do not recognise the damages figures put forward, and they have not appeared in the claims."

In 2019 a High Court judge ruled that BA customers could go ahead with compensation claims against the airline over the data breach.