British Columbia

Proposed class-action lawsuit launched against LifeLabs in B.C. Supreme Court

A B.C. man is attempting to launch a class-action lawsuit against Canadian Laboratory testing company, LifeLabs, one day after it announced a large cyberattack on its systems affecting the private information of 15 million Canadians.

LifeLabs has 21 days to file an official response

A LifeLabs clinic is pictured in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (CBC/Ben Nelms)

A B.C. man is attempting to launch a class-action lawsuit against Canadian Laboratory testing company, LifeLabs, one day after it announced a large cyberattack on its systems affecting the private information of 15 million Canadians.

Kenneth Morrison, a retired Vancouver computer technician, filed a notice of civil claim against LifeLabs Wednesday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, alleging the company breached its contract with Morrison to keep his private information safe.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Morrison, the main plaintiff, is opening up the lawsuit as a proposed class-action against the company.

The document says it is open to any B.C. resident who has been a customer of LifeLabs before Dec. 17, 2019. If the class action is certified, anyone who meets the requirements is automatically included.

Protecting personal information was a key term of the company's contract, the lawsuit says.

It alleges LifeLabs knew of the risk of a data breach and "failed to implement sufficiently strong encryption and security safeguards" to prevent it from being subject to unauthorized access.

"Life Labs failed to treat privacy and security as its top priorities," the documents say. "Life Labs was reckless in its conduct amounting to the storage breach."

Because of this alleged recklessness, the lawsuit claims one or more cyber criminals was able to remotely access and seize personal information.

"Life Labs had its own privacy policies and security measures to which it failed to sufficiently adhere," says the document.

Morrison's suit says he has suffered an invasion of his privacy that has left him exposed to identify theft, phishing, extortion and further disclosure of his sensitive medical information.

He is seeking general and punitive damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest.

As part of the relief, the document requests the lawsuit be certified by the courts as a class action.

CBC News has reached out to LifeLabs for comment.

The company has yet to file an official response in the courts.
 

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