$63 Million Settlement Reached in OPM Data Breach Case
The Washington Post today reported on a proposed $63 million settlement of a data breach class action against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management brought by plaintiffs represented by Girard Sharp.
Daniel Girard serves as lead counsel representing the approximately 22 million federal employees and job applicants whose personal information was compromised in a major 2015 hack reportedly perpetrated by the Chinese government.
The settlement, if approved by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, would end a seven-year legal effort to win compensation from the government. The proposed settlement would compensate victims who suffered a financial loss as a result of the hack, providing for minimum payments of $700, even for those with minor expenses.
The Post noted the unusual difficulties of the OPM litigation, describing the legal precedents that make it difficult for victims to win compensation as a “high bar” given governmental immunity. In addition, had the case proceeded, “OPM would likely refuse to disclose information about its data security practices because of national security concerns.”
The Post also quoted Girard Sharp partner Jordan Elias describing the settlement: “Under the circumstances that we faced, we think it’s pretty darn good.”
Class members will be able to make claims when and if the Court grants preliminary approval.