Hardware maker Seagate is facing a lawsuit mounted by some of its own employees whose personal information has been lost by the firm.
The data, including names, addresses and social security numbers, was sent out in response to a phishing email.
The fake message appeared to come from the firm’s chief executive.
The lawsuit alleges that attackers have already started to make use of the confidential data for fraud but Seagate is contesting those claims.
The company has filed a motion in a California court to dismiss the class action.
It argued that it could not be held responsible for harm caused by the unforeseen actions of criminals, that the claims were based on “allegations” rather than facts and that there was no evidence of negligence by Seagate leading to financial loss by some employees.
Court documents published by tech news site The Register allege that thieves who got hold of the information have used it to file joint tax forms or to help with other forms of ID theft.
The lawsuit seeks to make Seagate pay damages to anyone who has suffered financial loss as a result of the data going astray.
Some people have already had to pay to clear up damage to their credit history and reputation caused by the data loss, alleges the legal document.
The lawsuit also seeks to make the storage giant pay the fees of those who are part of the legal action.
Seagate has not responded to a request for comment.
If Seagate fails in its bid to have the case thrown out the lawsuit will be debated at a trial in front of a jury later in 2016.