In re Community Health Systems, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, Case No. 15-CV-222-KOB
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
The Settlement will provide payments to people who submit valid claims.
Two types of payments are available:
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.Back To Top
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:
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:
More details are provided in the Settlement Agreement, which is available here.Back To Top
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
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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”.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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:
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.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
|David A. Carney
Baker & Hostetler LLP
127 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44114
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
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.Back To Top