$63 Million OPM Settlement Receives Preliminary Approval

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on June 7 preliminarily approved a $63 million settlement in 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 ends a seven-year legal effort to win compensation from the government. The settlement will 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 court’s order sets a deadline of December 23, 2022 for class members to submit a claim.

The Washington Post previously reported on the $63 million settlement, noting the unusual difficulties of the OPM litigation and the “high bar” to recovery given governmental immunity. Additionally, 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.”

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