Model Sues Law Firm Over Data Breach

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A fashion model is suing Baltimore-based law firm Goldberg Segalla for allegedly exposing her personal data when filing records in a different data breach lawsuit.

Stephanie Hoffman claims the firm leaked her information twice on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service, which provides electronic public access to federal court records.

Goldberg Segalla is representing Hoffman's former modeling agency, Major Model Management Inc (MMMI), in an ongoing proposed class-action lawsuit concerning an alleged data breach. 

That suit, which was also brought by Hoffman, accuses MMMI of failing to adhere to state laws, industry standards and best practices when collecting and storing the personal information of the models it contracted with.

MMMI is seeking to dismiss Hoffman's lawsuit. In a filing made on February 4, the agency argued that Hoffman either waived her claims in her contract, or that state law does not apply in this case. 

Connecticut resident Hoffman, who won Model of the Year at the International Modeling & Talent Association (IMTA) in New York and has modeled multiple times at New York Fashion Week, claims Goldberg Segalla exposed her data in a December 3 filing relating to the MMMI suit.

The plaintiff alleges that her Social Security number, birth date, passport information, home address, cell number, email address and signature were shared by the law firm without redactions in Manhattan federal court. 

The filing was sealed by US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain on December 3, but Hoffman claims that Goldberg Segalla re-filed the exhibit later that day and only partially redacted her Social Security number and birth date.

In an eight-page complaint filed in New York County Supreme Court, Hoffman claims her data was exposed until January 29, when the court was asked to seal the partially redacted filing. 

Hoffman claims in the suit that she "has been placed at an imminent, immediate, and continuing increased risk of harm from fraud and identity theft."

The model said that she has been told by prospective employers and third-party credit institutions that her Social Security number "is being used for fraudulent criminal activity."

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