Thousands of Morrisons staff are due a payout after a court ruled that the supermarket was liable for a huge data leak.
Disgruntled colleague Andrew Skelton leaked the payroll data of nearly 100,000 staff in 2014, including names, addresses, bank account details and salaries.
Mr Skelton, a former auditor at Morrisons, posted it online and sent it to newspapers.
Morrisons had denied liability in the case, which had been brought by 5,518 current and former staff.
The ruling could open the door for the other 94,000 people affected to bring a compensation claim, lawyers said.
Following the ruling, Nick McAleenan of JMW Solicitors, acting for the 5,518 former and current staff bringing the claim, said: “The High Court has ruled that Morrisons was legally responsible for the data leak.
“We welcome the judgment and believe that it is a landmark decision, being the first data leak class action in the UK.”
In July 2015 Mr Skelton was found guilty at Bradford Crown Court of fraud, securing unauthorised access to computer material and disclosing personal data, and jailed for eight years.
His motive appeared to have been a grudge over a previous incident when he was accused of dealing in legal highs at work.
In October, Jonathan Barnes, counsel for the claimants, told Mr Justice Langstaff that the company had already been awarded £170,000 compensation against Mr Skelton.
He said the employees should also be compensated for the upset and distress caused by the alleged failure to keep their information safe.
The Independent has contacted Morrisons for comment
Additional reporting by PA