Case Name

WSU Data Breach


Washington State University


King County Superior Court

Case Number

17-2-23244-1 SEA

Date Filed


Case Status


Case Type

Consumer Protection

WSU Data Breach

Washington State University (WSU) advised the public that on April 21, 2017, a safe was stolen from an off-site self-storage facility in Olympia, Washington. A backup hard drive belonging to WSU was in the safe. That hard drive contained personal data, including social security numbers, of over one million people, whose privacy is now potentially compromised. WSU obtained this information through inter-agency agreements with state and local agencies and school districts in order to conduct studies on behalf of those public agencies. 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, is one of several law firms that represents the plaintiffs in the putative class action on behalf of the 1+ million people whose identity was put at risk. 

On April 18, 2019, King County Superior Court preliminarily approved a settlement in the case. The university has set up a website with information for plaintiffs:, and will mail notices and claim forms to those affected. The hearing for final settlement approval is scheduled for October 25, 2019.

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