Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) has agreed to a $4 million settlement for a class-action lawsuit regarding a data breach affecting approximately 640,000 individuals. In June 2020, the FOI notified affected individuals that a ransomware attack had encrypted the information maintained on its computer system on April 9th. The information potentially exfiltrated by the malicious actors included people’s names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, medical information, insurance plan identification number, payer identification number, claims addresses, and/or FOI claims history, or other personal information.
After receiving a notification of the breach, a class-action lawsuit was immediately brought against the FOI in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida by individuals who were potentially affected by the data breach. Under the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the FOI did not adequately protect their sensitive personal information.
“As a result of Defendant’s failure to implement and follow basic security procedures Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ PII is now in the hands of thieves and unknown criminals,” the defendants allege. “Plaintiffs and Class Members now face a substantial increased risk of identity theft.”
Despite no admission of wrongdoing, the FOI have chosen to settle the case as settlements help avoid the uncertainty of trial and substantial costs. The agreement requires the FOI to establish a settlement fund worth $4 million to cover claims brought forth by class members. These claims will include out-of-pocket losses related to the breach, attested time spent resolving issues related to the breach, and attorneys’ fees. Reimbursement claims may amount to up to $15,000 and $25 per hour of lost time.
The FOI will also offer identity theft protection services for up to 3 years free of charge. The services will include credit monitoring, high-risk transaction monitoring, dark web monitoring, threat alerts, lost wallet protection, identity restoration services, and up to $1 million in insurance coverage for costs relating to identity theft. Class members may file for settlement benefits online or alternatively, by mail. The deadline for all claim submissions is September 16, 2022. Along with the final approval hearing of the settlement on September 29, 2022. For additional information regarding the settlement, the FOI has included further information on their website.