On April 18, 2019, King County Superior Court Judge Laura Inveen preliminarily approved a settlement in the putative class action lawsuit against Washington State University. WSU has agreed to pay up to $5.26 million to resolve the case. Of that amount, $4.7 million will be made available to the Class for cash reimbursements, attorney’s fees, and administrative expenses; in addition to two years of credit monitoring and insurance services for up to 1,193,190 people.
This settlement comes nearly two years after WSU announced that on April 21, 2017, a hard drive was stolen from an off-site self-storage facility in Olympia, Washington. That hard drive contained personal data, including social security numbers, of nearly 1.2 million people, whose privacy is now potentially compromised. In June 2017, WSU sent letters to individuals whose data was on the hard drive, offering them one year of free credit monitoring. Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC, led by attorneys Kim Stephens and James Bulthuis, was one of several law firms that represented plaintiffs in the class action.
The university has set up a website with information for plaintiffs: WSUSettlement.com, and will mail notices and claim forms to those affected. The hearing for final settlement approval is scheduled for October 25, 2019.