Several reporters and their family members have sued Hewlett-Packard Co and some of its officers, their lawyer said in a statement, alleging the technology giant violated their privacy in a hunt for the source of boardroom leaks.
The five lawsuits brought by Rachel Konrad, Dawn Kawamoto, Stephen Shankland, Thomas Shankland and Thomas Krazit seek unspecified damages, according to the statement late on Wednesday.
The legal action follows disclosures last year that the world's biggest maker of personal computers and printers had hired private investigators to determine who on the board had leaked information about sensitive boardroom discussions to news outlets including online technology newsletter CNET Network Inc. and The Wall Street Journal.
The investigators engaged used subterfuge to obtain private phone records of board members and reporters, HP said last year.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuits include journalists for CNET and the Associated Press as well as their family members.
HP spokesman Ryan Donovan said the company was disappointed by their decision and will defend itself, according to a report on CNET's Web site.
He said the company had apologized to the reporters and made a substantial settlement offer to them, their relatives and charities of their choice.
HP did not immediately return a call from Reuters seeking comment.
The scandal led to the departure of HP's then-chairman, Patricia Dunn, and prompted a U.S. congressional investigation of the tactics used in the investigation, known as pretexting.
A California judge in June dismissed misdemeanor fraud charges against HP's former ethics chief and two private investigators involved in the scandal. Charges against Dunn were also dismissed.
(Additional reporting by Philipp Gollner)