Banks dismiss claims against Trustwave and Target

Steve Ragan

Trustmark National Bank and Green Bank, N.A. have dropped their claims against Target and Trustwave, ending the proposed class action lawsuit that first made headlines last week.

The dismissals come after Trustwave's CEO made a statements over the weekend, noting that his company will defend itself against the "baseless allegations" adding that Trustwave didn't provide any additional security offerings to Target, including network monitoring, nor did the company process any of the cardholder data.

In a complaint filed in Chicago federal court last week, Trustmark and Green Bank accused Target and Trustwave of failing to properly secure customer data. Those failures allowed criminals to compromise 110 million records, including 40 million credit cards. The banks were looking to get at least $5 million in unspecified damages, but said that losses could top $1 billion, and more than $18 billion for banks and retailers.

However, despite all the hype, Trustmark dismissed their claims on Friday, a move that was mirrored by Green Bank on Monday. The dismissals seem to stem from the fact that the charges against Trustwave were incorrect, evident by the company's statement and promise to fight.

In their dismissal notices, Trustmark and Green Bank said that while the complaints were filed with the court, Target and Trustwave were not served with papers. So why file the complaints and level serious charges, only to walk away from them a week later?

On Tuesday, during the CSO40 Security Confab in Braselton, Georgia, some attendees told the Hash that it might have been a fishing expedition, something that would have enabled the banks to get a better picture of what went on before the breach and after.

Moreover, lawsuits such as this (and in corporate world in general) are also part PR. So this could've been a way for the banks to show customers that they're doing something and offering a warm fuzzy feeling.

The true reasoning behind the proposed class action might never see the light of day, but both Trustmark and Green Bank have reserved the right to refile new complaints in the future.