A Maryland federal judge reinstated certification for several classes of consumers in a lawsuit against Marriott and its information technology provider over a massive data breach in 2018. The breach affected around 133 million Starwood guests in the U.S. The judge found Marriott's response to the litigation inconsistent with its argument that guests had agreed to pursue claims individually. The decision overturned a Fourth Circuit ruling that vacated the certification order, citing a "choice of law and venue" clause in a guest rewards contract. The judge concluded that Marriott had waived the clause and that it was ineffective to override the court's discretion to certify a class. The dispute is part of a larger data breach class action involving millions of consumers. Marriott plans to seek leave to appeal the ruling.
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