December 20, 2019

A Georgia federal judge has granted final approval to a landmark data breach deal that requires Equifax to pay up to $425 million to consumers and $77.5 million in attorney fees, class counsel said Friday as one of the settlement's fiercest opponents vowed to appeal the decision to the Eleventh Circuit.  

U.S. District Thomas W. Thrash Jr. signed off on the plaintiffs' motion for final approval of the pact in an oral ruling from the bench during a hearing Thursday, counsel for the roughly 147 million consumers whose personal data was exposed in the 2017 breach confirmed. The deal attracted nearly 400 objections, while more than 15 million class members have submitted claims for credit monitoring, alternative compensation or out-of-pocket losses, the plaintiffs have said.

"Judge Thrash rejected the objections to the settlement — including specifically those from serial objectors — finding that the settlement is an exceptional result for the class, particularly in light of the risk, and that the relief is at the ‘high range’ of what likely could have been recovered at trial," class counsel said in a statement provided to Law360 Friday.

The consumers are represented by co-lead counsel Amy Keller of DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, Kenneth Canfield of Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles LLC and Norman Siegel of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP. Barnes Law Group LLC and Evangelista Worley LLC  serve as co-liaison counsel. Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Girard Gibbs LLP, Hausfeld LLP, Tadler Law LLP, Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, Murphy Falcon & Murphy and The Doss Firm LLC are on the plaintiffs' steering committee. Griffin & Strong PC serves as state court coordinating counsel.

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