An Australian woman who was facing almost $2million in damages against two retail giants after her accounts were hacked has had a major court win in the United States.
Byron Bay woman Sarah Luke was one of more than 9 million Aussies who had their personal details leaked to the dark web in a massive Medibank data breach in 2022
Hackers gained access to Ms Luke’s PayPal account between December 6 and December 8 to trade hundreds of counterfeit items, including merchandise from Adidas and the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Adidas and the NBA then filed claims in courts in Florida and Illinois relating to trademark infringement totalling $1.8million.
Sarah Luke (pictured) has won a legal battle against sportwear giant Adidas after her data was stolen by hackers and used to trade counterfeit items
Ms Luke was found liable even though she had no idea about the charges.
The damages involved $293,000 ($US200,000) in the NBA case and $1.5million ($US1million) in the Adidas matter, court documents seen by the ABC revealed.
An application by Adidas to have the order against her dismissed has now been granted by a US District Court of Florida judge.
‘It can’t be taken back or refiled, it’s basically abolishing me of any liability,’ Ms Luke told the ABC.
‘It is pretty amazing.’
Ms Luke received help from a global digital security company to fund a US attorney to negotiate with the two sportswear giants.
Her US attorney first decided to address the Adidas case in Florida before tackling the NBA matter in Illinois.
Adidas and the NBA filed claims in courts in Florida and Illinois relating to trademark infringement totalling $1.8million
Ms Luke was relieved after an application by Adidas to have the order against her dismissed was granted by a Florida court
‘That creates a blueprint that they can take to the NBA and try to achieve the same outcome,’ she said.
‘Hopefully, fingers crossed, we have the same outcome, but who knows.’
Ms Luke said the past year had been incredibly stressful for her but now she found herself laughing ‘because it’s so ridiculous’.
‘But a couple of days ago when I got the order dismissing me I was in floods of tears.
‘It’s a whole range of emotions from overwhelm and frustration to relief mixed with joy.’
Ms Luke is feeling positive about the case involving the NBA.
‘Now that we have got this blueprint to work with … maybe there will be a positive outcome and I’ll have all of the charges removed against me,’ she said.