A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit over the 2015 cyberattack of health insurer Anthem, Inc., involving the theft of the personal information of 78.8 million people. The $115 million settlement, if approved by the Court, will be the largest data breach settlement in history.
The proposed settlement provides for Anthem to establish a $115 million settlement fund, which will be used to 1) provide victims of the data breach at least two years of credit monitoring; 2) cover out-of-pocket expenses incurred by consumers as a result of the data breach; and 3) provide cash compensation for those consumers who are already enrolled in credit monitoring.
In addition to the monetary fund, the settlement will require Anthem to guarantee a certain level of funding for information security and to implement or maintain numerous specific changes to its data security systems, including encryption of certain information and archiving sensitive data with strict access controls. The settlement is designed to protect class members from future risk, provide compensation, and ensure best cybersecurity practices to deter against future data breaches.
“After two years of intensive litigation and hard work by the parties, we are pleased that consumers who were affected by this data breach will be protected going forward and compensated for past losses,” said Eve Cervantez, co-lead counsel representing the plaintiffs in the Anthem litigation. “We are very satisfied that the settlement is a great result for those affected and look forward to working through the settlement approval process,” added Andrew Friedman, co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel.
In early 2015, Anthem acknowledged that it had been the target of a cyber-attack, in which the personal information of 78.8 million individuals was stolen, including, for many of those individuals: names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and health care ID numbers. Named plaintiffs testified that following the breach, they were victimized by instances of identity theft, including fraudsters filing false tax returns, obtaining identification, and creating fictitious businesses in their names.
Over 100 lawsuits were filed against Anthem across the country and the cases were consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California before Judge Lucy Koh, who appointed Eve Cervantez and Andrew Friedman as Co-Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel, and Eric Gibbs and Michael Sobol to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
A motion for preliminary approval of the settlement was filed yesterday by the Plaintiffs. Judge Koh is scheduled to hear Plaintiffs’ motion on August 17, 2017. If granted, the class members will be notified about the details of the settlement, and invited to participate in and comment on the settlement. For additional updates and information about the lawsuit and settlement, please visit the Anthem Data Breach Litigation Website.