WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Judge Kim G. Dunning recently approved what she described as the largest per-person data breach settlement on record, an agreement that provided over $30 million in value to 31,000 Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS) patients.
The patients alleged that their medical information was wrongfully disclosed. Dunning appointed Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, a partner at the White Plains class action law firm of Finkelstein, Blankenship, Frei-Pearson and Garber, LLP (FBFG), a Plaintiffs class action law firm, as co-lead class counsel in this landmark case.
The per-person agreement is the largest known to date under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act. The case settled on the eve of trial, after plaintiffs won several significant motions the appellate court rejected the defendant’s appeals. In addition FBFG and their co-counsel are also the only counsel to win a contested class certification motion under the Act.
Data breaches have become endemic in modern society. Too often, the companies who are responsible for data breaches have used legal technicalities to avoid liability. However in the SJHS case, Plaintiffs’ counsel fought to obtain a more just result. In the end, the defendant financially compensated the victims and also agreed to spend approximately $17 million to improve its cyber-security, which should prevent future data breaches.
“This settlement is noteworthy because it provides Saint Joseph’s patients with the highest dollar amount per person in any known data breach case and it also requires SJHS to spend a significant amount in improving its cyber-security,"" Frei-Pearson said. "The goal of data breach lawsuits is to compensate the victims and prevent future breaches, and I am very happy that in this instance we accomplished these goals.”
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