Northern California Record

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Essex Property Trust to pay $350,000 settlement over data breach that compromised employees' information


By Shanice Harris | Apr 4, 2019


OAKLAND – A class action lawsuit against the property company Essex Property Trust Inc. reached a $350,000 settlement over a security breach after a long battle in court on March 14.

Essex did not oppose motions filed by lead plaintiff Angele Giroux - for granting the final approval of the proposed settlement and for an award of attorneys' fees. 

District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved the settlement.

In April, both parties submitted a settlement proposal to the court, which included a gross fund of $350,000, which each class member to receive a pro rata share. Fees were calculated at $140,000; costs at $9,498.64; claims administration fees at $22,500; and an incentive fee for the named plaintiff in the amount of $5,000, the ruling states.

Giroux alleged that her employer, defendant Essex Property Trust Inc., experienced a data breach in March 2016 that compromised employees' personal information for 2015, including Social Security numbers and payroll information. She alleged this affected 2,500 of the company's current and former employees.

Giroux filed the class-action lawsuit after she was notified of the breach in March 2016. She claims the breach was Essex's fault because it failed to provide adequate security measures for cyberattacks. The class-action lawsuit included 42 members, all of which Giroux alleged were affected by the data breach. 

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland DivisionU.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

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