WASHINGTON – The attorney handling the American Federation of Government Employees’ lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management in response to last year’s massive data breach has been named lead counsel for the consolidated case.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson named Daniel Girard, managing partner of Girard Gibbs in San Francisco, as lead counsel to represent everyone whose personal information was stolen during the two data breaches into personnel and background investigation files maintained by OPM.
“AFGE was out in front in representing the interests of the 22 million current and former federal employees, job applicants, and their family members whose information was stolen during this unprecedented data breach,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “It’s only fitting that the attorney handling our lawsuit serve as the lead counsel for everyone who has been victimized by the government’s failure to protect their personal information.”
AFGE was the first organization to file a class-action lawsuit against the federal government in response to the data breach. Subsequently, at least 18 other lawsuits have been filed. In October, a judicial panel consolidated all of the lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where Judge Jackson presides.
As lead counsel, Girard will work with other attorneys assigned by Jackson as part of a plaintiffs’ steering committee. The first task is to file an amended consolidated complaint by March 14.
Girard Gibbs LLP is a national litigation firm that has vast experience with cases involving cybersecurity attacks and data breaches. Mr. Girard served as one of the lead attorneys in a class action brought on behalf of Sony Pictures Entertainment employees following the alleged North Korean cyberattack on the company.