A class action lawsuit was filed against Athem, its subsidiaries and affiliates, and certain Blue Shield and Blue Cross companies in 2015, because they allegedly failed to protect the plaintiffs’ personal information.
Anthem Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit
The number of people affected in the data breach is 80 million. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies were sued because they stored some of their members’ data on Anthem databases. Healthcare companies are an attractive target for hackers but not all of these companies have adequate cybersecurity defenses. According to experts, the Anthem data breach was the largest in U.S. history.
Anthem Does Not Admit Liability
The company, however, did not admit liability for the incident and indicated that it was not aware of any identity theft related to the 2015 attack. It released a statement where it said that it takes the security of its data and the personal information of its consumers seriously. The company also said in the statement that they have cooperated with the government throughout their review and reached an acceptable resolution.
Settlement class members are those persons that received a notice from anthem concerning data breach that was announced in February 2015. You can also be a settlement class member if your personal information was taken during the breach and that information is included in Anthem’s Member Impact Database.
Class members can claim either two years of credit monitoring services or a cash award. They can also claim up to $10,000 in out-of-pocket costs related to the data lost in the breach. Out-of-pocket costs include:
- Professional fees
- Credit monitoring
- Charges incurred because of identity theft
- Costs linked to credit freezes
- Postage and other fees
- Hourly wage of up to 10 hours for time used to deal with breach issues
Members who submitted valid claims n time have already started receiving checks in the mail. A number of them have received up to $50 from Anthem BCBS data breach class action settlement. Anthem, Inc. has agreed to pay a record $115 million to settle the class action lawsuit.
Winning Data Breach Lawsuits Is Tough
Courts have been dismissing many class action lawsuits for data breaches because plaintiffs failed to provide evidence of damages such as fraud or identity theft. The reason for this is that plaintiff’s legal standing as defined in Article III of the constitution can determine the outcome of the case. Standing depends on the plaintiff’s ability to prove that significant injury has occurred. In a case where hackers invade the database of a restaurant and drain the accounts of the plaintiffs, significant injury is easy to prove. But if the hackers just take the information and do nothing, it becomes more difficult to win a case.
Recent cases have shown that courts are starting to allow a lower threshold for establishing injury according to an article on Technews. For example, subjective opportunity costs, minor actual costs, and even the threat of future impacts are seemingly now viable reasons for class action lawsuits. This remains true even if no current threat or fraud linked to a data breach has occurred.