Eleventh Circuit Affirms $1.5 Billion Settlement for Equifax Data Breach Class Action


Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP secured a victory at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the $1.5 billion settlement that resolved the nationwide class action stemming from credit reporting firm Equifax’s massive data breach.

The 2017 breach exposed sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, the driver’s license and credit card numbers for more than 147 million consumers.

The settlement was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in January 2020. It provided payment of benefits for cash compensation, including time spent dealing with the breach, credit monitoring, and assistance with identity restoration to those affected by the breach. It also required Equifax to spend at least $1 billion over the next five years to overhaul its data security.

Stueve Siegel Hanson Partner Norman Siegel is co-lead counsel in the case and was instrumental in constructing the state-of-the-art agreement significant not just for the dollar amount, but also its multifaceted relief for consumers.

Despite the settlement’s approval by the District Court (and a broad base of support, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Attorneys General for 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), a small number of consumers objected; ultimately, the Eleventh Circuit heard a consolidated case of five appeals filed by six objectors.

On June 3, a unanimous panel of the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s rulings approving the settlement. While the appeal process is not yet complete, the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion is an important step toward providing consumers affected by the data breach the benefits provided by the settlement.

The Equifax settlement is among the recent achievements for Stueve Siegel Hanson’s industry-leading data breach and cybersecurity litigation practice. Stueve Siegel Hanson attorneys have prosecuted cases involving the largest data breaches in U.S. history, securing billions of dollars in relief for consumers. More information about the firm’s data breach practice is here.

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