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Federal mediator named in FTC lawsuit over Wyndham cyber breach


In ongoing litigation involving the Federal Trade Commission and Wyndham Worldwide Corp., a federal mediator has been named in the cyber breach lawsuit.

The case, which experts have said exemplifies the FTC's aggressive approach in dealing with data breaches, began with the FTC accusing the Parsippany, N.J.-based hotel chain of failing “to provide reasonable and appropriate security for the personal information collected and maintained” by its hotels.

The breaches that occurred between April 2008 and January 2010 allegedly permitted intruders to gain unauthorized access to Wyndham's computer network three times.

Following a Newark, New Jersey, federal judge's refusal in April to dismiss the FTC suit, Wyndham appealed to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

Court records show a federal judge named a mediator in the case on Nov. 18.

Separately, Wyndham won a victory in October, when a Trenton, New Jersey, federal judge dismissed a derivative lawsuit, Dennis Palkon v. Stephen P. Holmes et al. and Wyndham Worldwide Corp., brought by a stockholder against Wyndham's directors and officers, including Mr. Holmes, its chairman and CEO, as well as the company.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler cited efforts Wyndham's board had made to address the data breaches for dismissing in dismissing the suit.

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