LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Lawyers said on Tuesday they have filed a class action lawsuit against Sony Pictures, alleging that the Hollywood studio failed to protect employees' data stolen in a massive cyber-attack.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, alleges that "Sony failed to secure and protect its computer systems, servers, and databases, resulting in the release of the named plaintiffs and other class members" personal data.
"An epic nightmare, much better suited to a cinematic thriller than to real life, is unfolding in slow motion for Sony's current and former employees," said the 45-page lawsuit.
"Their most sensitive data, including over 47,000 Social Security numbers, employment files including salaries, medical information, and anything else that their employer Sony touched, has been leaked to the public, and may even be in the hands of criminals," it said.
The lawsuit was filed Monday by two former Sony employees, on behalf of others in a similar situation, said Seattle-based lawyers Keller-Rohrback, who provided a copy of the suit.
"Because of Sony's failure to protect its current and former employees' private information, that information is now circulating online, putting those employees at risk," the said in a case summary.
Sony Pictures chief Michael Lynton sought to reassure employees at a staff meeting on Monday, vowing the company will not be destroyed by the leaks, a day after hackers promised a big "Christmas gift" for the Hollywood studio.
"This will not take us down," Lynton told employees."You should not be worried about the future of this studio."
The hackers, who call themselves Guardians of Peace (GOP), have demanded that Sony stop the release due on December 25 - Christmas Day - of the comedy The Interview, depicting a fictional CIA plot to kill North Korea's leader.
North Korea has denied involvement in the brazen cyber-attack, but praised it as a "righteous deed" potentially orchestrated by supporters furious over the movie.