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In another step to repair its reputation after a major data breach, Target has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $10M. Eligible claimants could claim up to $10,000.
Target previously tried to dismiss the class action suit arguing consumers did not have standing to sue. This means that consumers couldn't prove an injury arising from the data breach. However, the judge rejected Target's assertions, noting that the 114 named plaintiffs could show unlawful charges, blocked access to bank accounts, and inability to pay other bills.
If you want a chunk of the settlement, you'll have to:
1. Prove Eligibility
To be eligible, you must be able to answer yes to one of the following questions:
Also, you must have experienced one of the following:
If you've already been reimbursed by your bank or credit card, you wouldn't be eligible under the first criterion. However, if you can still show that one of the other criteria apply, you are still eligible.
2. Document Your Damages
To claim up to $10,000, you need to be able to document your damages. As evidence, gather up any credit card bills that show un-reimbursed charges, or higher interest fees or receipts showing money paid to credit monitoring services. People who can show proof of damages will be among the first group of people to be paid.
If you don't have any documentation, don't despair. You may still be able to get some money. After the first group of claims has been paid out, any settlement money left over will be divided among people who made a claim, but could not show documentation.
3. File and Claim Form
You can make a claim on or near April 30, 2015 by filing out a claim form.
Since the judge has yet to grant final approval of the settlement, you probably shouldn't expect any payments until early next year.
If you have been injured by the data breach and are dissatisfied with the settlement, you can opt out of the settlement and file your own lawsuit. An experienced consumer protection attorney may be able to help.