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Target's $10M Data-Breach Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on March 20, 2015 10:52 AM

Remember that massive Target data breach in 2013? Well, some victims may soon be getting a payout for their troubles.

A Minnesota judge has granted preliminary approval of $10 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against Target. The 2013 data breach may have affected up to 40 million credit and debit card numbers and the personal information of 61 million people. This settlement is in addition to free credit monitoring that Target has already offered its customers.

What does this mean for you? Here's what you need to know:

1. When Can You Make a Claim?

Customers will probably be able to start filing claims on or around April 30. However, since no money can be paid out until all appeals are completed, you may have to wait until the beginning of next year to get any money in your pocket.

2. What Do You Have to Prove?

To be eligible for a share of the settlement, you'll have to show one of the following:

  • Unauthorized, unreimbursed charges on a credit or debit card. (If you've already been reimbursed by your bank or credit card, you wouldn't be eligible under this criterion.)
  • Time spent fixing the charges.
  • Money spent hiring someone to fix a credit report.
  • Higher interest rates or higher interest fees due to the data breach.
  • Loss of access to funds due to the data breach.
  • Fees paid due to unauthorized charges.
  • The cost of credit monitoring or buying a credit report.

3. How Much Can You Get?

Target data breach victims could get up to $10,000! Well, maybe. You must be able to document or prove your damages. All claims that can be documented will be paid out first. Any settlement money left over will be divided among people who have a claim but can't document their damages. Brian Yarbough, a consumer research analyst with Edward Jones, told USA Today that he doesn't think anyone will get $10,000; the average payout will probably be closer to $50 to $100, he opines.

4. Don't Like the Settlement?

If you don't like the settlement, you could opt out and file your own lawsuit.

If you have been affected by the Target data breach and are unhappy with the settlement, an experienced consumer protection attorney may be able to help assess your options.

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