Aetna to Pay $17M in HIV Data Theft Class Action Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the Data Breach lawsuit.

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Santa Cruz, CA: A $17,161,200 settlement, affecting some 12,000 insurance beneficiaries, has been reached in a data theft class action lawsuit against Aetna. The plaintiffs allege that Aetna, through their negligence, exposed private information on clients’ HIV status.

The complaint, filed six months after initial reports of the data breach, stated that beneficiaries received letters that had large transparent window envelopes revealing confidential HIV-related information, with one of the individuals having data revealed concerning his pre-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) treatments for HIV.

The final terms of the settlement require Aetna to make payments of either $75 or $500 to beneficiaries whose protected health information (PHI) was allegedly negligently disclosed. Beneficiaries affected by the alleged breach are guaranteed financial compensation amounts depending upon the severity of each member’s privacy breach.

“Claimants may receive up to $10,000 for financial harm as calculated by the Settlement Administrator and up to $10,000 for non-financial harm as calculated Administrator, for a total maximum of up to $20,000 in addition to the minimum base payments,” the settlement agreement states. Settlement Class Members can additionally submit a claim documenting either financial or nonfinancial damages to seek further compensation.

Further details of the agreement stipulate that Aetna must take further steps to protect client data, in addition to administrative guidelines for distributing settlement payments.

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