Goldberg Segalla is sued over alleged leak of woman's personal information on PACER

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A fashion model has filed a lawsuit alleging that Goldberg Segalla exposed her Social Security number and other personal information in a PACER filing.

The plaintiff, Stephanie Hoffmann of Old Greenwich, Connecticut, filed the negligence suit May 24 in New York state court, report Law360 and Reuters.

The PACER failure happened in Hoffmann’s data breach lawsuit against Goldberg Segalla’s modeling agency client, Major Model Management Inc., Hoffmann said in her new suit.

According to Hoffmann, on Dec. 3, 2020, Goldberg Segalla filed an exhibit, a model management agreement, that included Hoffmann’s Social Security number, date of birth, a photo depiction of her passport, her residential addresses, her email address and her phone numbers. The modeling agreement was filed in support of a motion to dismiss the suit against the modeling agency.

The exhibit was ordered sealed the same day of the filing, after Hoffmann’s counsel discovered the disclosure. Goldberg Segalla then replaced the exhibit with one that made only two redactions, hiding the first six digits of Hoffmann’s Social Security number and the month and day of her birthday, the suit said.

The replacement exhibit and an accompanying motion were listed on PACER as a “filing error - deficient docket entry.”

Goldberg Segalla refiled the motion and the partly redacted replacement exhibit Jan. 26, according to a letter to the judge in the modeling agency case. The law firm also requested permission to submit a new version of the exhibit that redacts Hoffmann’s entire birthdate, entire Social Security number, her home address and her passport number. All prior versions of the document should be sealed, the letter said.

According to Hoffmann’s suit, the original unredacted exhibit remained publicly accessible from Dec. 3, 2020, until at least Jan. 29. Hoffmann said she was not notified of the data breach.

Hoffmann “has been placed at an imminent, immediate and continuing increased risk of harm from fraud and identity theft,” the suit said. “Third-party credit institutions and prospective employers have reported to plaintiff that her Social Security number is being used for fraudulent criminal activity.”

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