Preliminary Approval of Historic Settlement Announced in Equifax Data Breach Class Action
Class members can visit https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/ to learn more about the settlement and claim benefits.
Class Action Settlements Drive $1 Billion in Equifax Business Practice Reforms and over $500 Million in Consumer Relief
In a historic victory for U.S. consumers, credit reporting firm, Equifax (NYSE: EFX), has agreed to settle a nationwide class action stemming from one of the most notorious data breaches in U.S. history. The massive 2017 breach, which exposed the Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, the driver’s license and credit card numbers of over 147 million consumers, was resolved in a settlement valued at over $1.5 billion.
Norman Siegel, who chaired the Plaintiffs’ settlement committee, was instrumental in engineering the state-of-the-art settlement that is significant not just for the dollar amount, but also its multifaceted relief for consumers.
The class action settlement includes up to $505.5 million to pay benefits for cash compensation including time spent dealing with the breach, credit monitoring, and assistance with identity restoration. Equifax may have to pay substantially more if greater than 7 million class members enroll in credit monitoring. The settlement also mandates an overhaul of Equifax’s business practices—including its handling of the personal information of consumers nationwide—and requires Equifax to spend at least $1 billion over the next five years to overhaul its data security. The value to the class is even larger. The retail cost of purchasing the same credit monitoring services for the entire class alone would exceed $282 billion.
Co-lead counsel issued a joint press release with statements on the historic settlement available here.
Siegel was appointed co-lead counsel for the consumer plaintiffs in February 2018. The multidistrict litigation alleged Equifax compromised the name, address, social security number and other sensitive personal information of more than 148 million Americans – nearly half of the U.S. population. The Consolidated Amended Complaint, which was also filed in 2018, alleged that Equifax was grossly negligent in maintaining and securing the personal information of millions of consumers.
Equifax had attempted to quash the claims with a motion to dismiss. However, on January 28, 2019, Chief Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, ruled that consumer plaintiffs’ claims would continue in the federal multidistrict litigation.
This settlement marks the most recent success for the firm’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 affected consumers. For more information about our data breach practice, click here.
The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/22/business/equifax-data-breach-claim.html
Kansas City Business Journal: https://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2019/07/22/equifax-data-breach-settlement-norman-siegel.html