Several civil lawsuits have been filed against Yahoo following a disclosure that 500 million accounts were compromised in what the company claims was a state-sponsored intrusion in late 2014 - one of the largest-ever data breaches.

The quick filing of lawsuits has become a ritual after a major data breach. But such lawsuits often are not successful, and an ambiguous Supreme Court ruling that was hoped would provide clarity actually made the legal landscape more ambiguous.

"The results [of lawsuits] to date are very mixed, not in favor of the consumer and very court driven," says Scott Vernick, partner and head of the data security practice at Fox Rothschild LLP in Philadelphia.

Nonetheless, lawsuits are a large headache for companies following a breach, adding to the cost of recovery. Three civil suits have been filed against Yahoo in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, while USA Today reported that two other similar lawsuits have been filed in Illinois and San Diego.

One of the suits, filed on behalf of New York resident Ronald Schwartz, alleges that Yahoo's "misconduct was so bad" that it allowed access to users' personal information for close to two years. "Despite the fact that the attack took place in late 2014, Yahoo was so grossly negligent in securing its users' personal information that it says that it did not even discover the incident until the summer of 2016," the complaint reads.

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