Proposed US Settlement Follows Massive 2015 Data Leak by ‘Impact Team’ Hackers
Ashley Madison wants to put that sordid data breach affair behind it. Parent company Ruby Life has reached an $11.2 million settlement agreement with the plaintiffs behind two dozen U.S. class-action lawsuits – since consolidated – lodged in the wake of its massive 2015 breach.
On Friday, Ashley Madison parent company Ruby Life, née Avid Dating Life, announced that it’s reached an $11.2 million settlement agreement with plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit that was filed against the infidelity dating site following its massive July 2015 data breach.
The full terms of the settlement agreement have yet to be approved by the court. But the proposal calls for Ruby to contribute “a total of $11.2 million to a settlement fund,” designed, in part, to compensate “settlement class members who submit valid claims for alleged losses resulting from the data breach and alleged misrepresentations” tied to Ashley Madison, Ruby says in a statement.
“While Ruby denies any wrongdoing, the parties have agreed to the proposed settlement in order to avoid the uncertainty, expense and inconvenience associated with continued litigation, and believe that the proposed settlement agreement is in the best interest of Ruby and its customers,” Ruby’s statement adds.
A third of the settlement fund – $3.7 million – would go to attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.
The remaining $7.5 million would be split between victims who used the Ashley Madison website on or before July 20, 2015, with a maximum reimbursement of $3,500 per individual. Court documents outline the proposed breakdown:
- Full delete: For anyone who spent $19 to purchase “full delete,” “paid delete” or “complete profile removal service (up to $500 per person, based on what was actually spent);
- Credits: Customers who purchased credits for messaging on the site (up to $500, based on every dollar actually spent on a credit);
- Losses: Suffering unreimbursed losses (up to $2,000, based on actual, documented monetary losses);
- PII: Customers whose personally identifiable information was released, due to the breach (up to $500 per individual).
To help spread the word about the proposed settlement, Ruby says in court documents that it would advertise the settlement in People and Sports Illustrated magazines. According to a market research firm commissioned by Ruby, such advertising would reach 75 percent of Ashley Madison’s current and former customer base.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, 19 million Ashley Madison customers were based in the United States, while the remainder of its 36 million users were located in 45 other countries.