Court Grants Preliminary Approval To $1.25 Million LinkedIn Settlement

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Feb. 3 — LinkedIn Corp.'s agreement to pay $1.25 million and implement industry-standard data security protocols to settle a suit brought after a 2012 hack compromised more than 6 million LinkedIn users' passwords received preliminary approval Jan. 29 from a federal district court.

The plaintiffs alleged that LinkedIn violated California consumer protection statutes and engaged in a breach of contract by failing to abide by a promise in its privacy policy to protect user data through “industry standard protocols and technologies.” The court held in March 2014 that the plaintiffs could proceed with their claim under the fraud prong of California's Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq., but dismissed the breach of contract and other claims.

The settlement class, which the court said was about 800,000 people, was defined as all U.S. LinkedIn users who paid for a premium subscription to the site between March 15, 2006, and June 7, 2012. In a motion requesting approval of the settlement, the plaintiffs said that each valid claimant would receive up to $50 from the $1.25 million settlement fund. The motion added that LinkedIn would use “industry standard” or better methods of protecting users' passwords for at least five years.

Judge Edward J. Davila scheduled a fairness hearing for June 18 to determine whether to grant final approval to the agreement and award attorneys' fees to class counsel.

Edelson PC and Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP represented the plaintiffs. Cooley LLP represented LinkedIn.

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