Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts, has agreed to reimburse out-of-pocket losses, lost time and extraordinary losses and provide credit monitoring services as part of a class action settlement regarding a data breach.
The settlement class includes anyone whose personally identifiable information or personal health information was compromised as a result of the cyberattack Sturdy Memorial Hospital discovered on or about Feb. 9, 2021.
The lawsuit, filed in September 2021, resulted from a ransomware attack on Sturdy’s medical facilities. The attack exposed sensitive information of about 60,000 current and former patients. The exposed information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and financial account information, including routing numbers, credit card numbers and security codes. It also included health information, which is protected under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA.
The complaint alleged the hospital “maintained the private information in a reckless manner” on a system and network “vulnerable” to a data breach. The information, which the complaint says was not encrypted, was seized by criminals, who locked hospital officials out of their own system and held all the data for “ransom,” which the hospital paid.
The lawsuit claims the hospital did not inform the members of the class action until May 28, 2021, nearly four months after the attack occurred. The lawsuit claims this delay was in violation of Massachusetts laws and failed to comply with Federal Trade Commission guidelines and its own promises made to patients.
The lawsuit also claimed the hospital should have made cybersecurity a higher priority, given seven high-profile ransomware attacks against health organizations across the United States. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Secret Service issued warnings that smaller municipalities and hospitals are attractive targets for ransomware criminals because smaller operations typically have fewer IT defenses.
Sturdy has agreed to refund up to $375 to class members for ordinary losses, such as out-of-pocket expenses and up to three hours of lost time at $20 per hour.
The settlement also provides for reimbursement of up to $5,000 in extraordinary losses. These losses must be documented and must have occurred between Feb. 9, 2021, and Feb. 14, 2023. These losses also must not already be covered by one of the normal reimbursement categories and must have more likely than not been caused by the data breach. The claimant must have made reasonable efforts to avoid or seek reimbursement for the loss.
The settlement also provides free credit monitoring services for all class members.
Those who wish to object to the Sturdy Memorial Hospital data breach settlement must write to the court by Jan. 14, 2023.
The final fairness hearing is set for Feb. 16, 2023.
Class members must submit a claim online by Feb. 14, 2023, to get payment under the settlement.
Anyone whose personally identifiable information or personal health information was compromised as a result of the cyberattack Sturdy Memorial Hospital discovered on or about Feb. 9, 2021
Supporting documentation may include: credit reports, bank fees, long distance phone charges, cell phone charges (only if charged by the minute), data charges (only if charged based on the amount of data used), postage, or gasoline for local travel.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Shedd, et al. v. Sturdy Memorial Hospital Inc. Case No. 2173-CV-00498 and 2273-CV-00162 in the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts, Superior Court, Bristol County
Sturdy Memorial Settlement
1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210
Philadelphia, PA 19103
David K Lietz
MILBERG COLEMAN BRYSON PHILLIPS GROSSMAN PLLC
David A Carney
BAKER & HOSTETLER LLP
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