Insurer seeks immunity from Sony breach claims

Zurich American Insurance petitions U.S. Court to protect it from claims related to data breaches suffered by Japanese electronics maker in April, reports note.

One of Sony's insurers has petitioned a U.S. Court to excuse it from paying out claims related to the data breaches suffered by the company in April this year.

Reuters reported Friday that Zurich American Insurance had filed a lawsuit against Sony with the New York Supreme court last Wednesday to secure a ruling stating that it does not have to defend or indemnify Sony against any claims "asserted in the class-action lawsuits, miscellaneous claims, or potential future actions instituted by any state attorney general".

In April, hackers breached Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) and stole away more than 70 million users' personal information. The number of affected customers subsequently increased as the Japanese company's other affiliate sites such as Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and Sony Pictures were also hacked into.

Zurich American Insurance is also suing units of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, AIG and ACE to clarify their responsibilities under various insurance policies they had written for Sony, according to the news wire.

Both Sony and AIG declined to comment for the Reuter's report, while Mitsui Sumitomo could not be reached.

In a separate report by technology news site ComputerWorld, Zurich American Insurance said Sony had demanded it to defend the Japanese company against the breach-related complaints and claims.

However, the insurance company argued it is not obligated to cover damages arising from cyber incidents under its commercial general liability insurance policy with Sony Computer Entertainment America, the report stated.

ComputerWorld pointed out that there are at least 55 putative class-action lawsuits filed against Sony by PSN and SOE members. The Japanese company is also under investigation by a number of Attorney-Generals, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, it added.

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