An amicable settlement was reached between Desjardins and two law firms regarding the gigantic 2019 personal data leak. The settlement provides in particular $ 1,000 for people whose identities have been stolen.
The agreement reached with the law firms Siskinds Desmeules and Kugler Kandestin in the context of the collective actions they have initiated is currently being evaluated by the Superior Court of Quebec. It should be officially approved during the year 2022.
The settlement provides for the payment of a total of more than $ 200 million in individual payments to eligible individuals who request them. Available information indicates that around 9.7 million people may have been affected by the data breach.
Please note that class actions (formerly called “class actions”) can lead to a lawsuit, but in most cases, they end in an out-of-court settlement, as is the case here.
Are you covered by the agreement?
The agreement is addressed to all those affected by the personal data leak announced on June 20, 2019, namely:
• Members and former members of Desjardins;
• Holders and former holders of a Desjardins credit card;
• Holders and former owners of a financing product at Desjardins points of sale;
• Any other person who has received a communication to inform you of the situation.
The agreement provides for two types of claims:
• A maximum amount of $ 1,000 for individuals who suffered identity theft after January 1, 2017;
• A maximum amount of $ 90 for those affected by the data breach announced in June 2019.
In the event that the total number of applications received exceeds the limit assigned for all claims, the amounts will be paid in proportion to the money available. The agreement also includes the extension of the credit file protection measures provided by the Equifax firm. These measures were implemented shortly after the disclosure of the massive data breach in 2019.
Customers who have not yet been a victim of identity theft, but who will be in the next two years, will also be able to claim the lump sum compensation of $ 1,000 and will not have to fail to prove that the identity theft emanates from Desjardins. See court document for more information.
Problems and disadvantages
Is $ 1,000 Enough For Identity Theft Victims? “The agreement is subject to the approval of the Superior Court, which will decide if it is reasonable, fair and in the best interest of the members of the group,” replies Me Karim Diallo of the Siskins Desmeules law firm. We present an agreement based on the parameters that exist in jurisprudence and other comparable agreements that have arisen in similar cases ”.
In this sense, the lawyer explains that this lump sum is aimed at the problems and inconveniences suffered by the “average” person subject to the data breach and that collective actions are not the appropriate vehicle for extreme situations. “People who are victims of identity theft already have protections from Desjardins that reimburse them for their legal fees, their credit screening fees. [ainsi que d’autres types de frais]», Specify.
Possibility of opting out
“People who feel that their situation is not adequately compensated can exclude themselves from the appeal within the required deadlines and take the steps they consider most appropriate, for example, sue in the Lower Court for accounts receivable”, Me Diallo specifies.
In the field of collective actions, the people affected by the situation are automatically included in the appeal and do not have any action to take to become part of it. However, if they think they are getting better compensation by suing the company themselves, they should back out of action. Publicly posted notices explain how to do this.
“Group members who do not exercise their right of exclusion in the prescribed manner will be irrevocably deemed to have chosen to participate in the Final Agreement and will be bound by it, if approved, and by any judgment or judgment. Order related thereto” , confirms the court document that summarizes the agreement.
>> Read also: Collective actions, how does it work?
There is nothing to do right now
“The members of the proposed class action lawsuits do not have any action to take at this time to be included in the class action or to benefit from the settlement if it passes,” Desjardins says on its site.
When the settlement has been approved by a court and the time has come to proceed with claims, people will be informed through the AccèsD site, by mail or by public notices published in the media. Anyone who wants to stay informed about the progress of the next steps can enter their email address on a page dedicated to those affected by the data breach, but this is still optional.
>> Read also: How to protect your personal data and Comparison of 5 services to manage your passwords
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