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LYNN – An older woman from Lynn is suing Weymouth debt collection law firm Kream & Kream after the firm allegedly failed to remove her social security number, name and address from public records.
Attorney Michael Satterwhite, who represents the woman, Linda Clayton, said the companies’ actions not only put his client at risk of identity theft, but also thousands of others every year through public records small claims.
“What they did was with small claims cases, they attached personal identifying information, and as a rule, you can’t list or provide a full social security number. They received not only a full social security number, but also the date of birth, addresses, phone numbers and full names of those consumers,” Satterwhite said. “If someone wanted to walk into a courthouse and say, ‘Hey, can you give me this file?’ Now they have everything about this particular individual to steal their identity.
Satterwhite said that although Kream & Kream agreed to remove Clayton’s information from all public records in court on Thursday, a class action lawsuit may be warranted because the company still lists many people’s private information.
“They filed a motion in court which was heard today before Judge LaMothe to only redact my client’s information after I brought it to their attention that it’s universal, it’s not just a unique thing. I brought five other examples to their attention, and they did nothing about those others. They were only trying to clean up this mess because obviously I’m seeking damages for my client’s information to be released,” Satterwhite said. “That’s obviously a problem. It’s a violation of the drafting rules.
Kream & Kream attorney Mark Seitsinger in a written statement apologized for the firm’s failure to redact information from public records. He said the issue only applies to a small number of cases due to human error and the company is working to keep private information private.
“We take very seriously our obligations to comply with all relevant rules regarding personal information that may be contained in documents filed with a court. We have processes in place to review documents before they are filed to ensure that information required to be redacted under the relevant rules is redacted. We work diligently to do the redactions; however, human error sometimes occurs. It appears that due to human error, some redactions that should have been done were not done,” Seitsinger said. “We sincerely apologize for these errors and are reviewing our practices with a view to eliminating the error. We will also proactively use appropriate legal procedural steps in each case with the issue to prevent the public from accessing the data in question. .
Satterwhite said Kream & Kream’s admission of fault is not solely an acceptable answer for their practices.
“His [Seitsinger’s] The statement given to me was that “people make mistakes”, but that shouldn’t be a response from a lawyer who has an obligation to redact certain things. You can’t just say ‘people make mistakes’ and then think that solves the situation,” Satterwhite said. “These are not simple mistakes and appear to be company practice given the number of [cases] I found.”
Anthony Cammalleri can be contacted at [email protected]