Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why was a Notice issued?

    The Court authorized that a postcard notice be issued because Class Members have a right to know about the proposed Settlement in this class action lawsuit and about all of the options before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement. This website explains the legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

    Chief Judge Karon O. Bowdre of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama is overseeing this case. The case is known as In re: Community Health Systems, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, Case No. 15-cv-222. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. CHSPSC is called the Defendant.

    To review a copy of the Notice, click here.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that CHSPSC was responsible for the Security Incident that occurred in April and June 2014, and asserts claims such as: breach of contract, breach of implied contract, unjust enrichment, negligence, negligence per se, bailment, wantonness, and claims under various state consumer protection and data breach notification laws, and also federal statutory claims for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The lawsuit seeks compensation for people who allegedly had losses as a result of the Security Incident.

    CHSPSC denies all of the Plaintiffs’ claims and says it did not do anything wrong.

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  3. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “Representative Plaintiffs” sue on behalf of all people who have similar claims. All of these people together are the “Class” or “Class Members.” In this case, the Representative Plaintiff is William Lutz. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

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  4. Why is there a settlement?

    By agreeing to settle, both sides avoid the cost and risk of a trial, and the potential risk of no recovery or a lesser recovery, and people who submit valid claims will get compensation. The Class Representative and his attorneys believe the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and, thus, best for the Class and its members.

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  5. How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?

    You are included in the Settlement Class if you reside in the United States and your Personal Information was affected during the cyberattack on CHSPSC’s computer network systems that was publicly announced on August 18, 2014.

    The Settlement defines “Personal Information” as information that is or could be used, whether on its own or in combination with other information, to identify, locate or contact a person, including without limitation names, addresses, birthdates, social security numbers, telephone numbers, and the names of employers and/or guarantors.

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  6. What does the Settlement provide?

    The Settlement will provide payments to people who submit valid claims.

    Two types of payments are available:

    1. Response Expense Reimbursement (see FAQ 7); and
    2. Fraud Loss Reimbursement (see FAQ 8)

    You may submit a claim for either or both types of payments. In order to claim either type of payment, you must provide related documentation with the Claim Form. The Claim Form includes examples of types of expenses you may have incurred and how to document them.

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  7. What payments are available for Response Expense Reimbursement?

    If you are a Class Member, you are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $250 (in total) for the following categories of out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the Security Incident:

    • The costs of credit monitoring and identity theft protection services purchased by you between August 18, 2014, and August 1, 2019, with a statement by you that the monitoring or service was purchased primarily because of the Security Incident and not for other purposes, and with proof of purchase;
    • Up to five hours of documented lost time spent dealing with the Security Incident or identity fraud allegedly resulting from the Security Incident calculated at the rate of $15.00 per hour, but only if at least one full hour was spent, and only if the time can be documented with reasonable specificity by answering the questions on the Claim Form;
    • The costs of credit report(s) purchased by you between August 18, 2014, and August 1, 2019, with a statement by you that the credit report(s) was purchased primarily because of the Security Incident; and
    • Other incidental expenses attributable to the Security Incident, including, by way of example, payments for credit freezes, unreimbursed overdraft fees, unreimbursed charges related to unavailability of funds, unreimbursed late fees, long distance telephone charges, cell phone minutes (if charged by minute), Internet usage charges (if charged by the minute), and text messages (if charged by the message), with a statement by you that these incidental expenses were primarily incurred because of the Security Incident, and why these incidental expenses are related to the Security Incident.
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  8. What payments are available for Fraud Loss Expense Reimbursement?

    Class Members who had monetary out-of-pocket losses attributable to actual identity fraud and/or identity theft that allegedly occurred as a result of the Security Incident are eligible to make a claim for reimbursement of up to $5,000. In order to claim, the Class Member must show:

    1. An actual, documented, and unreimbursed monetary loss;
    2. The loss was more likely than not caused by the Security Incident;
    3. The loss occurred during the time period from August 18, 2014, through August 1, 2019;
    4. The loss is not already covered by one or more of the categories in FAQ 7; and
    5. You made a reasonable effort to avoid or seek reimbursement for the loss (including exhaustion of all available credit monitoring insurance and identity theft insurance).

    More details are provided in the Settlement Agreement, which is available here.

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  9. How do I get benefits?

    To ask for a payment, you must complete and submit a Claim Form. You can file a Claim Form online here, or by calling the Toll Free number to request a copy be mailed to you at 1-877-393-1072. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form, and submit it online, or mail it postmarked no later than August 1, 2019, to the following address:

    CHSPSC Settlement Claims
    P.O. Box 6336
    Portland, OR 97228-6336

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  10. How will claims be decided?

    The Settlement Administrator will initially decide whether the information provided on a Claim Form is complete and valid. The Claims Administrator may require additional information from any claimant, and if so, the claimant will be given 30 days to provide any additional information to document their claim. If the required information is not provided timely, the claim will be considered invalid and will not be paid.

    If, after review of a claim and all documentation submitted by the claimant, the Claims Administrator determines that a claim is valid (either in whole or in part) then the claim will be paid up to the amount determined to be valid. If a claim is not valid because the claimant has not provided all information needed to complete the Claim Form and evaluate the claim, then the Settlement Administrator may reject the claim without any further action.

    Under the Settlement Agreement, the total amount of claims paid is capped at $3,100,000.00. At the end of the claim period, if more than $3,100,000.00 in total is claimed by all valid claimants, each Settlement Class Member’s cash claim will be reduced on a pro rata basis.

    See paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 of the Settlement Agreement for a full description of the Claim Administration process. The Settlement Agreement is available here.

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  11. Do I need to do anything to remain in the Settlement?

    You do not have to do anything to remain in the Settlement, but if you want a payment you must submit a Claim Form postmarked or submitted online by August 1, 2019. See FAQ 23, "What Happens If I Do Nothing?" for the consequences of taking no action.

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  12. What am I giving up as part of the Settlement?

    If you remain in the Settlement, and the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue CHSPSC for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against CHSPSC are described in Sections 1.17, 1.18, 1.19, and 1.26 of the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” CHSPSC and all related people or entities as described in Section 6.1 of the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is available here.

    The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the law firms listed in FAQ 16 for free, or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this release means.

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  13. If I exclude myself, can I get a payment from this Settlement?

    No. If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to any benefits of the Settlement, but you will not be bound by any judgment in this case.

    If you do not want a payment from this Settlement, but you want to keep the right to sue CHSPSC about issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement Class. The step of excluding yourself from the Settlement Class is also sometimes referred to as “opting out”.

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  14. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue CHSPSC for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue CHSPSC for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class to start your own lawsuit or to be part of any different lawsuit relating to the claims in this case. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for a payment.

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  15. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself, send a letter that says you want to be excluded from the Settlement in In re: Community Health Systems, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-cv-222. Include your name, address, and signature. You must mail your Exclusion Request postmarked by May 18, 2019, to:

    CHSPSC Settlement Exclusions
    P.O. Box 6336
    Portland, OR 97228-6336

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  16. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    Yes. The Court appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel”: Karen Hanson Riebel, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., 100 Washington Ave. S., Suite 2200, Minneapolis, MN, 55401 and Jeffrey E. Friedman, Friedman Dazzio Zulanas & Bowling PC, 3800 Corporate Woods Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own separate lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  17. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel will request the Court’s approval of an award for attorneys’ fees of $900,000.00, inclusive of attorneys’ fees, reasonable costs and expenses of all cases against CHSPSC that they have pursued over the Security Incident. Class Counsel will also request approval of an incentive award of $3,500.00 each for the Representative Plaintiff. Any amount that the Court awards for attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and an incentive award will be paid separately by CHSPSC and will not reduce the amount of payments to Class Members who submit valid claims.

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  18. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?

    You can object to the Settlement if you do not like the Settlement or some part of it. The Court will consider your views. To do so, you must file (mail to the Courthouse address listed below) with a written objection in this case, In re: Community Health Systems, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-cv-222, with the Clerk of the Court at the address below.

    Your objection must state:

    1. Your full name, address, telephone number, and email address (if any);
    2. Information identifying you as a Settlement Class Member, including proof that you are a member of the Settlement Class (e.g., copy of settlement notice, copy of original notice of the Security Incident);
    3. A written statement of all grounds for your objection;
    4. The identity of all counsel representing you, if any; you are not required to have counsel;
    5. The identity of all counsel representing you who will appear at the Final Fairness Hearing, if any;
    6. A list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Fairness Hearing in support of your objection, if any; you are not required to have witnesses;
    7. A statement confirming whether you intend to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Fairness Hearing, you are not required to appear;
    8. Your signature and the signature of your duly authorized attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation setting forth such representation);
    9. A list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you (directly or through counsel) have filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last 3 years;
    10. A list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which your counsel (on behalf of any person or entity) has filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last 3 years; and
    11. A list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you have been a named plaintiff in any class action or served as a lead plaintiff or class representative.

    To be timely, your objection must be filed (mailed in time to be received by) the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama no later than May 18, 2019. In addition, you must mail a copy of your objection to both Class Counsel and Defense Counsel, so that it is postmarked no later than May 18, 2019:

    Court Lead Class Counsel Defense Counsel
    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court
    1729 5th Avenue North
    Birmingham, AL 35203
    Karen Hanson Riebel
    Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.
    100 Washington Ave. S.
    Suite 2200
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    David A. Carney
    Baker & Hostetler LLP
    127 Public Square
    Suite 2000
    Cleveland, OH 44114
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  19. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like the Settlement and why you do not think it should be approved. You can object only if you do not exclude yourself from the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the settlement no longer affects you.

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  20. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. CDT on August 13, 2019, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama located at Hugo L. Black United States Courthouse, 1729 5th Ave N., Birmingham, AL 35203, Courtroom #8, on the 8th Floor.

    The Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional written notice, so it is a good idea to monitor this website or call 1-877-393-1072 for updated information.

    At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are timely objections, the Court will consider them and will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing if such a request has been properly made. The Court will also rule on the request for an award of attorneys’ fees and reasonable costs and expenses, as well as the request for incentive awards for the Representative Plaintiffs. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

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  21. Do I have to attend the hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will present the Settlement Agreement to the Court. You or your own lawyer are welcome to attend at your expense, but you are not required to do so. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to the Court to talk about it. As long as you filed your written objection on time with the Court and mailed it according to the instructions provided in FAQ 18, the Court will consider it.

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  22. May I speak at the hearing?

    You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must file (mail) an objection according to the instructions in FAQ 18, including all the information required by items (iv), (v), (vi), and (vii). Your Objection must be filed (mailed and received) with the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama no later than May 18, 2019. In addition, you must mail a copy of your objection to both Class Counsel and Defense Counsel listed in FAQ 18, postmarked no later than May 18, 2019.

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  23. What happens if I do nothing?

    If you do nothing, you will get no benefits from this Settlement. Unless you act before the deadline of May 18, 2019, to exclude yourself, after the Settlement is granted final approval and the judgment becomes final, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against CHSPSC about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

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  24. How do I get more information?

    This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in a Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. You may also write with questions to CHSPSC Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 6336, Portland, OR 97228-6336. You can also file a Claim online here, or have one mailed to you by calling the toll-free number, 1-877-393-1072.

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