Last week I wrote about 4 different cases where courts are moving in the direction of making it easier for plaintiffs to sue companies in case of a breach.
Now we have another situation. In the past, judges have approved settlements that only made the lawyers rich. The plaintiffs sometimes got, literally, nothing. That is beginning to change.
Judge Lucy Koh (she has some impressive credentials – undergraduate and law degree from Harvard, first ever female Korean American Article III judge in the US, oversaw the Apple-Samsung case, Apple and Google lawsuits) decided that the did not like the proposed Yahoo settlement.
The settlement called for $50 million split among 200 million people (or about 25 cents a person), zero for the remaining 800 million people plus two years of credit monitoring. Remember this breach started in 2013, so two years of credit monitoring starting some time in 2019 …..
She also said that the $35 million in legal fees (taking the payout to the 200 million people down to $15 million or seven and a half cents a person) may be unreasonably high because the legal theories in the case were not particularly novel (SLAP! Meaning that the lawyers didn’t really have to work that hard).
That could, possibly, mean that judges are becoming educated and are hearing that people are trying not to spend their seven cent payout all in one place, meaning bigger settlements are going to be required in order to get judicial approval.
Meanwhile for Yahoo, it is back to the drawing board.
For businesses, that probably means that it would be a good idea to increase your cyber-risk insurance.
Details for this post came from Reuters.