Fed judge's ruling would gut Pa. spyware lawsuit

Friday, February 7, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A federal magistrate in Pennsylvania is recommending against class-action status for a lawsuit filed over spyware installed on computers leased from furniture renter Aaron's Inc.

If accepted by a federal judge, U.S. Magistrate Susan Paradise Baxter's recommendation would mean that the lawsuit would be reduced to the original claim filed by Crystal and Brian Byrd, of Casper, Wyo.

The Byrds sued Atlanta-based Aaron's in Pennsylvania because the company that made the spyware, DesignerWare, is from North East, Pa.

But the couple's attorneys contend hundreds of customers were victimized as Aaron's allegedly collected 185,000 emails containing sensitive information - including pictures of nude children and people having sex - from customers.

Attorneys for both sides have until Feb. 14 to object to the recommendation, after which a federal judge can accept, reject or modify it.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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