U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on Friday granted preliminary approval to a $115 million deal ending litigation over Anthem Inc.’s massive 2015 data breach, advancing what’s being hailed as the largest-ever data breach settlement, which would provide credit protection and reimbursement for customers and up to $38 million in attorneys’ fees.
Judge Koh approved more than 100 individuals to serve as class representatives, as well as attorneys at Altshuler Berzon LLP, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Girard Gibbs LLP as class counsel. They will represent a class of 79 million individuals, who will be notified of the deal and their possible claims in October, and have until the end of December to opt-out or object.
Friday’s order said the deal struck in June — which provides victims of the data breach with two years of credit monitoring, coverage of out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the breach, and cash compensation to those who’ve already gotten their own credit monitoring — fell “within the range of possible approval as fair, reasonable and adequate.”
“The court finds that the settlement agreement appears to be the result of serious, informed, noncollusive negotiations conducted with the assistance of former U.S. District Judge Layn R. Phillips over the course of nearly three months,” Judge Koh said. “The court further observes that the settlement agreement is the product of more than two years of litigation.”
Consumers sued the nation’s second-largest health insurer after it disclosed in February 2015 that its information technology system had been hacked, exposing the birthdays, Social Security numbers, income data and other personal details of customers and employees.
The plaintiffs in the MDL had accused Anthem, more than two dozen Anthem affiliates and 14 “non-Anthem” Blue Cross entities of violating state and federal consumer protection laws by failing to protect the personal data.
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