Morrisons loses court appeal over data breach

A Morrisons supermarket is seen in Margate, Britain, September 8, 2018. Picture taken September 8, 2018. REUTERS/Marika Kochiashvili

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Morrisons on Monday lost the latest round in a legal battle for compensation by thousands of its staff whose personal details were posted on the internet by a former employee.

The country’s fourth largest supermarket lost the hearing in the Court of Appeal but said it would take a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

Morrisons was last year found liable for the 2014 theft and publication of the data by finance worker Andrew Skelton, who was later jailed for his offences.

The ruling on liability meant some 5,518 former and current workers could seek compensation from the supermarket - Britain’s first data leak class action.

“Morrisons worked to get the data taken down quickly, provide protection for those colleagues and reassure them that they would not be financially disadvantaged,” a spokesman said.

“In fact, we are not aware that anybody suffered any direct financial loss. We believe we should not be held responsible so that’s why we will now appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Morrisons’ shares turned negative after the ruling and were last down nearly 1 percent.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Alistair Smout