The Court directed that the Notice be provided because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement that has been reached in this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval to the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, and after objections or appeals, if any, are resolved, the Settlement Administrator appointed by the Court will distribute the benefits that the Settlement allows. This Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
The Court in charge of this case is the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case is known as Winstead v. ComplyRight, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-4990 (N.D. Ill.) (the “Action”). The people who filed the lawsuit are called Plaintiffs, and the company they sued, ComplyRight, Inc., is called the Defendant.
Plaintiffs claim that ComplyRight failed to implement and maintain reasonable security measures to protect the Personal Information (such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and Social Security numbers) in its possession. Plaintiffs also claim that ComplyRight knew or should have known the risks of collecting and storing Personal Information, as well as the importance of maintaining secure systems, and should have identified the vulnerabilities in order to prevent the Data Breach from occurring.
ComplyRight has, and continues to deny all of the claims made in the Action, as well as all charges of wrongdoing or liability against them.
In a class action, one or more people called Representative Plaintiffs (in this case, Marshall Smith, Brandon Herman, Chad Patterson, Jeffrey Roberts, Michael Will, Susan Winstead, Robert Bohannon, Holly Buckingham, Richard Morello, Jr., Robert Harris, Amanda Lariscy, Charles Newman, and Paul Christiansen) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Together, all these people are called a Class or Class Members. One Court and one judge–in this case, United States District Judge Edmond E. Chang–resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.Top
The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or the Defendant. Instead, the Plaintiffs negotiated a Settlement with the Defendant that allows them to avoid the risks and costs of lengthy and uncertain litigation, and the uncertainty of a trial and appeals. It also allows Settlement Class Members to be compensated without further delay. Representative Plaintiffs and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members.
You are part of this Settlement as a Settlement Class Member if your Personal Information was maintained on ComplyRight’s website during the Data Breach that occurred from at least April 20, 2018 through May 22, 2018, including if you were sent the July 13, 2018 letter informing you of the Data Breach.
On July 13, 2018, ComplyRight sent letters to Settlement Class Members informing them that between April 20, 2018, and May 22, 2018, an unauthorized person or persons illegally intruded into its website without authorization and accessed or viewed their name, address, telephone number, email address, and Social Security number. This information was entered into the website by, or on behalf of, employers or payers to prepare tax-related forms, for example, forms 1099 and W-2.
Yes. Excluded from the Settlement are individuals who are or were, during the Data Breach, officers or directors of ComplyRight, any person found to be criminally involved in the Data Breach, and any judge presiding over this matter.Top
If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can call 1-877-884-3497 or visit www.ComplyRightSettlement.com for more information; or, you can complete and submit a Claim Form to see if you qualify for a Settlement Benefit.Top
The Settlement provides Settlement Class Members with their choice of (1) a Protection Plan, or (2) Cash payment, or (3) Reimbursement.
ComplyRight has agreed to pay a total of $3,025,000 into a Settlement Fund. After deducting the costs of notice and settlement administration (not to exceed $300,000), Court-approved attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, and Representative Plaintiff service awards, the net Settlement Fund will be used to pay Settlement Class Members who submit a valid Claim Form requesting a Cash payment or Reimbursement. In addition, ComplyRight will separately pay for all costs associated with valid Claim Forms requesting the Protection Plan.
ComplyRight has agreed to implement and maintain the following data security practices for a period of three years after the effective date of the Settlement: (a) an information security program containing policies, procedures, and technical controls; (b) controls regarding authentication of users who access ComplyRight’s website, and controls designed to prevent access by users in locations where illegitimate use of the ComplyRight website could originate; (c) ComplyRight shall encrypt all Social Security numbers stored electronically; (d) regular and periodic training and education regarding the storage, handling, and destruction of personally identifiable information and nonpublic personal information for employees that handle those types of information; and (e) annual simulated penetration testing and procedures designed to monitor and address vulnerabilities to ComplyRight’s information systems.
Each Settlement Class Member who submits a valid Claim Form and opts to receive the Protection Plan will receive, free-of-charge, a two-year subscription to MyIDCare®, provided by ID Experts Corp. The MyIDCare® subscription will include (1) credit monitoring by Experian (or another qualified company approved by Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel), (2) dark web monitoring, (3) Fully Managed Recovery (full services), (4) $1,000,000 insurance coverage for reimbursement of losses attributable to the Data Breach (once enrolled), (5) Member Advisory Services, (6) Lost Wallet Assistance, and (7) 24-Hour Customer Service for each of the above. Complete details regarding this Protection Plan are available at www.MyIDCare.com.
The Protection Plan:
• may be transferred to a Settlement Class Member’s spouse, cohabitating significant other, or a child age 25 or younger (“Qualifying Family Member”);
• will begin and run from the date the Settlement Class Member or the Qualifying Family Member activates the Protection Plan; and
• the activation code does not expire until 12 months after it is received by the Settlement Class Member.Top
Each Settlement Class Member who submits a valid Claim Form and selects the Cash Option will receive an estimated $50 payment from the Settlement Fund.
NOTE: If the amount of money remaining in the Settlement Fund after deducting costs for notice and claims administration (up to $300,000), Court-approved attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and Court-approved Representative Plaintiff service awards (“Administrative Expenses”) is more than the aggregate value of valid cash and reimbursement option claims, payments of cash and reimbursement claims will be increased pro rata to exhaust the Settlement Fund. Conversely, if the amount of money remaining in the net Settlement Fund after payment of Administrative Expenses is less than the aggregate value of valid cash and reimbursement claims, payments of cash and reimbursement claims will be decreased pro rata.
Each Settlement Class Member who submits a valid Claim Form and selects the Reimbursement Option will receive up to $200 as reimbursement of certain documented expenses actually incurred as a result of the Data Breach that were not reimbursed by insurance or another third party.
The following losses and expenses are eligible for reimbursement if documentation is provided with the Claim Form:
If you enrolled in ComplyRight’s previous credit monitoring and identity theft protection services offered through TransUnion in ComplyRight’s July 13 letter, and your Reimbursement losses were incurred during the period of time covered under that service, you must make a claim under the insurance offered by the TransUnion service before submitting a Claim Form for Reimbursement from this Settlement.
To qualify for a Settlement benefit, you must complete and submit a Claim Form by December 6, 2019. Claim Forms are available and may be filed online at www.ComplyRightSettlement.com. Claim Forms are also available by calling 1-877-884-3497 or by writing to ComplyRight Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 404149, Louisville, KY 40233-4149.Top
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on October 7, 2019 to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether any appeals can be resolved favorably, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. It also takes time for all the Claim Forms to be processed. Depending on the number of claims submitted, and whether any appeals are filed, the Settlement Administrator could distribute payments as early as 60 days after the Settlement is approved and becomes final. Please be patient.Top
Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will release certain legal claims as they relate to the Settlement. This means that you will no longer be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against ComplyRight about the claims made in this Action and released by the Settlement Agreement. You will be legally bound by all of the Court’s orders, as well as the “Released Claims,” below. You may exclude yourself from the Settlement (see Questions 17–19). If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not be bound by any of the Released Claims.Top
“Released Claims” mean any and all claims that either have been asserted or could have been asserted by any Settlement Class Member against any of the Released Persons (ComplyRight, parent and successor entities, insurers and reinsurers, business partners and affiliates doing business with ComplyRight involved in the Data Breach and the Related Persons, which includes any past or present director, officer, employee, contractor, representative, attorney, or agent of ComplyRight who has not been charged with criminal activity related to the Data Breach) based on, relating to, concerning or arising out of the allegations, facts, or circumstances alleged in the Litigation. Released Claims specifically include claims stemming from the Data Breach that may have been or could have been asserted, whether known or unknown, by any Settlement Class Member against any person or entity that could seek indemnification or contribution from any of the Released Persons in respect to such Claim.
Released Claims do not include: claims by any individual Settlement Class Member against any card-issuing financial institution brought on an individual, case-by-case basis for reimbursement or waiver of purportedly fraudulent card charges (or other charges by the card-issuing financial institution in connection with purportedly fraudulent card charges) that such card-issuing financial institution allegedly should have reimbursed or waived but has refused to reimburse or waive; claims by any individual Settlement Class Member against any Person in their capacity as a user of consumer reports, furnisher of consumer reports, or a consumer reporting agency (as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.) brought on an individual, case-by-case basis for the violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.; and the right of any Settlement Class Member or any Released Person to enforce the terms of the Settlement contained in the Settlement Agreement. )
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter by mail stating that you want to be excluded from the Settlement reached in Winstead v. ComplyRight, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-4990 (N.D. Ill.). Your letter must also include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than September 16, 2019 to:
ComplyRight Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 404149
Louisville, KY 40233-4149
No. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, do not send in a Claim Form to ask for a Settlement benefit, because you will no longer be eligible for one.Top
No. If you stay in the Settlement (i.e., do nothing or do not exclude yourself from the Settlement), you give up any right to separately sue the Defendant for the claims released by the Settlement Agreement.Top
Yes. The Court appointed Ben Barnow and Erich P. Schork of Barnow and Associates, P.C., and Laurence D. King and Matthew B. George of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP to represent you and other Settlement Class Members. These lawyers are called Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel. These lawyers and their firms are experienced in handling similar cases. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Top
If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees in the amount of $908,333, reimbursement of costs and expenses, and service awards to each of the Representative Plaintiffs in the amount of $2,500. If approved, these amounts, as well as the costs of notice and settlement administration (up to $300,000), will be deducted from the Settlement Fund before making Reimbursement and Cash payments to Settlement Class Members who submit a valid Claim Form for those options. You can tell the Court that you do not agree with the Settlement or some part of it.Top
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like it or a portion of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. The Court will consider your views before making a decision. To object, you must file with the Court and serve on Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel and Counsel for ComplyRight a written notice stating that you object to the Settlement in Winstead v. ComplyRight, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-4990 (N.D. Ill.).
Your objection must include:
1) your full name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
2) information or proof showing you are a Settlement Class Member;
3) the reasons why you object to the Settlement, including any documents supporting your objection;
4) the name and address of your attorney, if you have retained one;
5) the name and address of any attorneys representing you that may appear at the Final Fairness Hearing;
6) a list of any and all other cases in which you (directly or through counsel) have filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement, or have been a named plaintiff in any class action or served as lead plaintiff, including the case name, court, and docket number for each;
7) a certificate of good standing from the highest court of the state in which objector’s counsel is admitted to practice law;
8) documents sufficient to demonstrate any court-imposed sanctions entered against objector’s counsel arising out of objections to any class or collective action settlement approval;
9) a list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Fairness Hearing in support of the objection;
10) a statement confirming whether you personally intend to appear or testify at the Final Fairness Hearing; and
11) your signature or the signature of your attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation illustrating representation).
Your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604 by September 16, 2019. You must also mail copies of your objection to Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel and Counsel for ComplyRight postmarked no later than September 16, 2019, at the addresses below.
Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel
Erich P. Schork
Barnow and Associates, P.C.
One North LaSalle Street, Suite 4600
Chicago, IL 60602
Laurence D. King
Matthew B. George
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
350 Sansome Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94104
Counsel for ComplyRight
Hsiao C. (Mark) Mao
Troutman Sanders LLP
580 California Street, Suite 1100
San Francisco, CA 94104
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class in this Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object or file a claim because the Settlement no longer applies to you.
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on October 7, 2019, in Courtroom 2119 at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will take into consideration any properly-filed written objections and may also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing (see Question 22). The Court will also decide whether to approve payments of fees, costs, and expenses to Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel, and the service awards to the Representative Plaintiffs.Top
No. Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you file an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. You may also hire your own lawyer to attend, at your own expense, but you are not required to do so.Top
Yes, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must follow the instructions provided in Question 22 above. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Top
If you do nothing, you will not receive any benefits from this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the Settlement Agreement and the Release. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant or the Released Persons about the issues resolved by this Settlement and released by the Settlement Agreement.Top
Yes. This Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which is available at www.ComplyRightSettlement.com or by writing to ComplyRight Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 404149 Louisville, KY 40233-4149.Top
Go to www.ComplyRightSettlement.com, call 1-877-884-3497, or write to ComplyRight Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 404149 Louisville, KY 40233-4149.
Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information.
They cannot answer any questions regarding the Settlement or the Action.