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PSN: Sony US faces 55 class-action suits

Not the tailored, pin-striped kind.

Sony faces 55 class-action lawsuits in the US as a result of April's PlayStation Network breach.

Class-action suits require a volume of people to bring a case to court.

The 55 number was alleged by insurance company Zurich American, a branch of Zurich Financial Services, during a separate court case against Sony, Reuters reports.

Zurich American, one of Sony's insurers, argued that its policy didn't cover - and is therefore not responsible for paying for - damage from cyber attacks. Zurich declared its insurance was for "bodily injury, property damage or personal and advertising injury" only. Apparently there are also exclusions in the policy to excuse Zurich from footing the PSN breach fallout bill.

In the US, Sony bears responsibility for the fraudulent misuse of credit card details stolen from PlayStation Network account holders.

In the UK, that responsibility lies with credit card companies - or vendors (shops like Amazon) if their security checks aren't stringent enough.

Class-action lawsuits are primarily a US thing, and there they happen often. Much more rare are successful class-action lawsuits. One such success came from a class-action suite against Take-Two and Rockstar for the infamous Hot Coffee sex mini-game hidden in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Take-Two ended up paying nearly $5 million to settle that case, while its insurers dished out $15.2 million.

The PSN breach saw the data of 77 million PlayStation Network accounts compromised. Within this were thought to be the details of around 12.3 million credit cards.

Sony expects the PSN breach to cost it £105 million by the time its full money-year ends in March 2012.