Anthem Agrees to $115 Million Settlement of Data Breach Lawsuit

By Bowdeya Tweh Features Dow Jones Newswires

Anthem Inc. has agreed to pay $115 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed after a 2015 cyberattack exposed personal information of more than 78 million people, the company said Friday.

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The proposed settlement was filed Friday and requires court approval, said plaintiffs' attorneys.

"We are pleased to be putting this litigation behind us, and to be providing additional substantial benefits to individuals whose data was or may have been involved in the cyberattack and who will now be members of the settlement class," the company said in a statement.

Anthem announced in February 2015 that it discovered its information technology systems had been the target of an external cyberattack. The hackers obtained personal information including names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and health-care ID numbers, attorneys said.

The class-action case resulted from the consolidation of more than 100 separate lawsuits filed against the Indianapolis company, plaintiffs' attorneys said.

Anthem said the settlement fund will pay for an additional two years of credit monitoring and identity protection services for plaintiffs. The company also said $15 million will be allocated to pay actual out-of-pocket costs, up to a set amount, that plaintiffs claim they incurred due to the breach. Class members who already have credit services can submit a claim for cash compensation instead of receiving the credit services provided by the settlement, the company said.

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U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is scheduled to hear a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement in San Jose, Calif., on Aug. 17. If approved, a third-party administrator will manage the settlement, which will be overseen by the court.

The settlement also requires the company to guarantee funding for internal information security and takes additional steps to secure its IT systems.

Attorneys from Altshuler Berzon LLP, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Girard Gibbs LLP, and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP are representing plaintiffs in the litigation.

Shares in Anthem fell 1.7% to $190.16 in Friday trading.

Write to Bowdeya Tweh at Bowdeya.Tweh@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 23, 2017 17:11 ET (21:11 GMT)