If you received a Notice, it’s because you were previously notified that your personal information may have been accessed in either the data Security Incident publicly announced by LifeBridge on May 15, 2018, or the data Security Incident publicly announced by LifeBridge on June 29, 2020, or in both of these Security Incidents. A Maryland Circuit Court authorized the Notice because you have the right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your rights and options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
The Honorable Lawrence Fletcher-Hill of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland is overseeing this class action. The case is known as Johnson, et al. v. LifeBridge Health, Inc., Case No 24-C-18-006801 (the “Action”). The people who filed this lawsuit are called the “Plaintiffs” and the company they sued, LifeBridge Health, Inc., is called the “Defendant.”
This lawsuit concerns two separate data Security Incidents. On May 15, 2018, LifeBridge announced that certain of its affiliate’s computer network systems were the target of an external unauthorized cyberattack (the “2018 Security Incident”). LifeBridge’s forensics investigation found that the cyberattack could have begun as early as September 27, 2016. On June 29, 2020, LifeBridge announced that an unauthorized user fraudulently obtained access to copies of documents held by M&T Bank in its lockbox account for LifeBridge’s affiliate, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Inc., between December 17, 2019, and April 30, 2020 (the “2020 Security Incident”). These incidents are collectively referred to as the “Security Incidents.”
Certain data that could have been accessed by the attackers included personal information, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, member identification numbers, group numbers, and subscriber numbers. Plaintiffs claim that Defendant failed to protect adequately their personal information and that they were injured as a result. Defendant denies any wrongdoing, and no court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any wrongdoing or that the law has been violated. Defendant denies these and all other claims made in the Action. By entering into the Settlement, Defendant is not admitting that it did anything wrong.
In a class action, one or more people called class representatives sue on behalf of all people who have similar claims. Together, all of these people are called a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those Class Members who exclude themselves from the Class.
The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. Settlements avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial and related appeals, while more quickly providing benefits to members of the Settlement Class. The Plaintiffs and the attorneys for the Class (“Class Counsel”) believe that the Settlement is best for all Class Members because of the risks and uncertainty associated with continued litigation and the nature of the defenses raised by the Defendant.
Who Is Included In The Settlement
If you received a postcard Notice of this Settlement, you have been identified by the Settlement Administrator as a Class Member. More specifically, you are a Class Member (and therefore you are affected by this Settlement) if you previously received a mailed letter from LifeBridge in May or June 2018 notifying you that your personal information may have been accessed in the 2018 Security Incident; or if you previously received a mailed letter from LifeBridge during June or July 2020 notifying you that your personal information may have been accessed in the 2020 Security Incident.
Yes, the Settlement does not include: the Defendant, its subsidiaries, parent companies, successors, predecessors, and any entity in which the Defendant or its parents have a controlling interest and its current or former officers, directors, members, shareholders, and board members; the Judge presiding over the Action, any members of the Judge’s staff and immediate members of his family; any individual who timely and validly requests to be excluded from the Settlement Class; and the successors and assigns of any such person.
If you are still not sure whether you are a Class Member, you may call the Settlement Administrator’s toll-free number at 1-844-953-2333.
The Settlement Benefits—What You Get If You Qualify
The Settlement will provide Class Members with the following benefits:
- Payments for reimbursement of Out-of-Pocket Losses and lost time; and
- Certain remedial measures and additional security measures that LifeBridge will take or has taken as a result of this Action.
If you spent money remedying or addressing identity theft and fraud as a result of either of the Security Incidents, or you spent money to protect yourself from future harm because of the Security Incidents, you may make a claim for reimbursement for Out-of-Pocket Losses of up to $250 total for ordinary losses and lost time and up to $5,000 for extraordinary losses.
Ordinary losses consist of: expenses incurred as a result of the Security Incidents, including bank fees, long distance phone charges, cell phone charges (only if charged by the minute), data charges (only if charged based on the amount of data used), postage, or gasoline for local travel; fees for credit reports, credit monitoring, or other identity theft insurance products purchased between May 15, 2018, and August 5, 2022. Other examples of ordinary out-of-pocket losses include: late fees, declined payment fees, overdraft fees, returned check fees, customer service fees, card cancellation or replacement fees, credit-related costs associated with purchasing credit reports, costs to place a freeze or alert on credit reports, and costs to replace a driver’s license, state identification card or a social security number due to fraud plausibly traceable to the Security Incidents. Other losses or costs plausibly traceable to the Security Incidents may also be eligible for reimbursement with appropriate documentation.
If you spent time remedying or addressing issues related to the Security Incidents, you may submit a claim for a payment of $20 per hour for up to three hours of time (up to $60) by submitting a Claim Form with a certification describing the time spent. This includes, for example, time spent taking actions intended to remedy fraud, identity theft, or other misuse of your Personal Information and time spent investigating whether your information had been compromised. Any amount awarded for lost time up to three hours is included within the $250 limit for ordinary loss claims. If you had documented extraordinary losses as addressed below, you may submit a claim for payment for an additional two hours of lost time (up to an additional $40). Any amount awarded for additional time up to an additional two hours is included within the $5,000 limit for extraordinary losses.
If you suffered additional losses beyond the ordinary losses provided for above, you may also submit a claim for extraordinary losses, up to $5,000 for proven monetary losses. Extraordinary losses may be compensable if: (1) the loss is an actual, documented, and unreimbursed (except for the claimant’s insurer) monetary loss; (2) the loss was fairly and reasonably traceable to the Security Incidents; (3) the loss occurred between September 27, 2016, and February 1, 2023; and (4) the loss is not already covered by one or more of the ordinary loss reimbursement categories.
Claims for cash payments for ordinary and extraordinary out-of-pocket losses must be supported by reasonable documentation, with the exception of claims for lost time, which must be supported by a detailed explanation of the time spent dealing with the Security Incidents. Reasonable documentation means written documents supporting your claim, such as credit card statements, bank statements, invoices, telephone records, and receipts. Individual cash payments may be reduced pro rata depending on the number of Class Members that participate in the Settlement and the amount of total claims for reimbursable losses.
LifeBridge has committed to providing additional security measures over two-years following final approval of the Settlement with the primary purpose of improving and maintaining information protection. These measures include:
- Encryption of Sensitive Data at rest within its corporate EMR using a platform equipped to provide such encryption;
- Investment in and utilization of software to track biomed devices used at LifeBridge facilities;
- Network monitoring to include (a) detection of anomalous activities that indicate the potential for data extraction; and (b) alerting and investigation of such anomalies;
- Performing regular cadence of endpoint and server patching, as well as backend server patching when appropriate with Microsoft patch updates;
- Annual information security training for all associates and new employee orientation information security training for all new employees;
- Enhanced account and password security;
- Requiring that remote access to the LifeBridge Office 365 environment will be governed by two-factor authentication;
- Developing new employee orientation for all new employees, which will be created or approved by the Chief Information Security Officer; and
- Enhanced e-mail protection and filtering solutions.
Unless you exclude yourself, you are choosing to remain in the Class. If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. You won’t be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against LifeBridge and related parties about the legal issues in this Action that are released by this Settlement. The specific rights you are giving up are called Released Claims (described in FAQ 12).
In exchange for the Settlement, Class Members agree to release all legal claims described below against LifeBridge and its affiliates. The release covers Defendant and its past or present parents, subsidiaries, divisions, and related or affiliated entities of any nature whatsoever, whether direct or indirect, as well as Defendant’s and these entities’ respective predecessors, successors, members, customers, providers, directors, officers, employees, principals, agents, attorneys, insurers, and reinsurers, and includes, without limitation, any person related to any such entity who is, was, or could have been named as a defendant in the Action (“Released Persons”) from any and all claims and causes of action including, without limitation, any causes of action for or under the Maryland Personal Information Protection Act, Md. Code Ann, Com. Law, §§ 14-3501, et seq., and all similar statutes in effect in any states in the United States as defined herein; the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, Md. Code Ann. Com. Law, §§ 13-301, et seq., and all similar statutes in effect in any states in the United States as defined herein; negligence; negligence per se; breach of contract; breach of implied contract; breach of fiduciary duty; breach of confidence; invasion of privacy; misrepresentation (whether fraudulent, negligent or innocent); unjust enrichment; bailment; wantonness; failure to provide adequate notice pursuant to any breach notification statute or common law duty; and including, but not limited to, any and all claims for damages, injunctive relief, disgorgement, declaratory relief, equitable relief, attorneys’ fees and expenses, pre-judgment interest, credit monitoring services, the creation of a fund for future damages, statutory damages, punitive damages, special damages, exemplary damages, restitution, the appointment of a receiver, and any other form of relief that either has been asserted, or could have been asserted, by or on behalf of any Plaintiffs or Settlement Class Member against any of the Released Persons based on, relating to, concerning or arising out of the Security Incidents, or the allegations, facts, or circumstances described in the Litigation. Released Claims shall not include the right of any Settlement Class Member or any of the Released Persons to enforce the terms of the Settlement contained in the Settlement Agreement,and shall not include the claims of Settlement Class Members who have timely and properly opted out of the Settlement Agreement and thus excluded themselves from the Settlement Class. The Released Claims do not include claims against the cyber attackers who committed the acts involved in the Security Incidents and persons or entities that intentionally misuse the Personal Information stolen in the Security Incident for unlawful purposes.
More information is provided in the Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release which can be viewed on the Important Documents page of this website. If you have any questions regarding the Release, you may contact Class Counsel listed in FAQ 17.
How To Get Settlement Benefits—Submitting A Claim Form
You must complete and submit a Claim Form by February 1, 2023. Claim Forms may be submitted on this website by clicking here, or printed from the Important Documents page of this website and mailed to the Settlement Administrator at the address on the form. A Claim Form is also available by calling 1-844-953-2333 or by writing to LifeBridge Class Action Settlement, c/o Settlement Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The quickest way to file a claim is online .
If you received a Notice by mail, use your Unique Claim Number to file your Claim Form. If you lost or do not know your Unique Claim Number, please call 1-844-953-2333 to obtain it.
You may access the online Claim Form by clicking here.
To file a claim for a payment of up to $250 in ordinary out-of-pocket losses you must submit a valid Claim Form with supporting documentation. The Claim Form requires that you sign the attestation regarding the information you provided and that you include Supporting Documentation, such as credit card statements, bank statements, invoices, telephone records, and receipts.
To file a claim for cash payment of up to $60 for out-of-pocket losses for time spent remedying or addressing issues related to the Security Incidents, you must submit a valid Claim Form electing to receive a payment for out-of-pocket losses for time lost. The Claim Form requires that you sign the attestation regarding the information you provided.
To file a claim for a payment of up to $5,000 in extraordinary losses, and up to an additional $40 for lost time, you must submit a valid Claim Form with supporting documentation. The Claim Form requires that you sign the attestation regarding the information you provided and that you include supporting documentation to show that the loss is an actual, documented, and unreimbursed loss; that the loss was fairly and reasonably traceable to the Security Incidents; that the loss occurred between September 27, 2016, and the Claims Deadline; and that the loss is not already covered by one or more of the normal reimbursement categories.
Instructions for filling out a claim for out-of-pocket losses and extraordinary losses are included on the Claim Form. You may access the Claim Form by clicking here.
The deadline to file a claim for Out-of-Pocket Losses is February 1, 2023.
If you change your mailing address or email address after you submit a Claim Form, it is your responsibility to inform the Settlement Administrator of your updated information as soon as possible. You may notify the Settlement Administrator of any changes by calling 1-844-953-2333 or by writing to:
c/o Settlement Administrator
1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Checks for valid claims for out-of-pocket and extraordinary losses will be provided by the Settlement Administrator via mail after the Settlement is approved and becomes final. It may take longer than one year for the Settlement to be approved and become final and for all claims to be processed. Please be patient and check this website for updates.
The Lawyers Representing You
Yes, the Court has appointed Nikoletta S. Mendrinos of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, Barrett J. Vahle of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, and John A. Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group as Class Counsel to represent you and the Class for the purposes of this Settlement. You may hire your own lawyer at your own cost and expense if you want someone other than Class Counsel to represent you in this Action.
Class Counsel will file a motion asking the Court to award them attorneys’ fees and expenses in an amount up to $775,000. They also will ask the Court to approve $2,500 service awards to each of the Representative Plaintiffs (Darlene Johnson and Sharon Belair) for participating in this Action and for their efforts in achieving the Settlement. The Court may award less than these amounts. Any amount the Court awards to Class Counsel will be paid separate and apart from cash payments to participating Class Members.
Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards will be made available on this website before the deadline for you to comment or object to the Settlement. You can request a copy of the application by contacting the Settlement Administrator at 1-844-953-2333.
Excluding Yourself From The Settlement
If you are a Class Member and want to keep any right you may have to sue or continue to sue the Defendant on your own based on the claims raised in this Action or released by the Released Claims, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself from – or “opting out” of – the Settlement.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must complete and sign a Request for Exclusion. The written notice must clearly manifest your intent to be excluded from the Settlement Class. The Request for Exclusion must identify the case name Johnson, et al. v. LifeBridge Health, Inc., Case No 24-C-18-006801 and state the name, address, and telephone number of the Settlement Class Member(s) seeking exclusion and must be signed. To be effective, written notice must be submitted electronically on the Settlement Website or postmarked no later than October 4, 2022 to the address below. You cannot exclude yourself by telephone or by e-mail.
Attn: Opt Out
PO Box 58220
Philadelphia, PA 19102
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue the Defendant and Released Persons (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Action to start or continue with your own lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant or any of the Released Persons. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately.
Object To Or Comment On The Settlement
If you are a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t think it is fair, reasonable, or adequate, including Class Counsel’s motion for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs and expenses. The Court cannot order a larger settlement or award you more based on your individual circumstances; the Court can only approve or deny the Settlement as it is presented.
To object, you must file with the Clerk of the Court a written objection stating that you object to the Settlement in Johnson, et al. v. LifeBridge Health, Inc., Case No 24-C-18-006801.
Your notice must include the following information: (i) the objector’s full name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if any); (ii) information identifying the objector as a Settlement Class Member, including proof that the objector is a member of the Settlement Class (e.g., copy of settlement notice, copy of original notice of the Security Incident(s)) if available; (iii) a written statement of all grounds for the objection, accompanied by any legal support for the objection the objector believes applicable; (iv) the identity of all counsel representing the objector, if any; (v) the identity of all counsel representing the objector who will appear at the Final Fairness Hearing, if any; (vi) a list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Fairness Hearing in support of the objection, if any; (vii) a statement confirming whether the objector intends to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Fairness Hearing; (viii) the objector’s signature and the signature of the objector’s duly authorized attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation setting forth such representation), if any; (ix) a list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which the objector (directly or through counsel) has filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last 3 years; (x) a list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which the objector’s counsel (on behalf of any person or entity) has filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last 3 years; and (xi) a list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which the objector has been a named plaintiff in any class action or served as a lead plaintiff or class representative.
You must mail your objection to both addresses listed below, and it must be postmarked by October 4, 2022:
Circuit Court for Baltimore City
111 N. Calvert St. Room 412
Baltimore, MD 21202
Re: Johnson, et al. v. LifeBridge Health, Inc.,
Case No. 24-C-18-006801
PO Box 58220
Philadelphia, PA 191012
Objecting is simply telling the Court you do not like something about the Settlement or requested attorneys’ fees and expenses. You can object only if you stay in the Class (that is, do not exclude yourself). Requesting an exclusion is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class or the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.
The Final Fairness Hearing
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing on October 26, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. before the Honorable Lawrence Fletcher-Hill in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. The hearing will be conducted by remote electronic means using Zoom for Government. You may join the hearing using the following link: https://mdcourts.zoomgov.com/j/1611356425?pwd=RldPRE84eUR1Y2RVRFYycXNoTS90dz09
You may also join by calling 1-833-568-8864 and entering Meeting ID 161 135 6425 and Passcode 03994510
At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and decide whether to approve the following: the Settlement; Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses; and the service awards to the Representative Plaintiffs. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. This hearing date and time may be moved or may be conducted telephonically or by video conference. Please refer to the settlement website for notice of any changes.
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mail your written objection on time the Court will consider it.
Yes. If you wish to attend and speak at the Final Fairness Hearing, you must indicate this in your written objection (see FAQ 21). Your objection must state that it is your intention to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing and must identify any witnesses you may call to testify or exhibits you intend to introduce into evidence at the Final Fairness Hearing. If you plan to have your attorney speak for you at the Fairness Hearing, your objection must also include your attorney’s name, address, and phone number.
If You Do Nothing
If you are a Class Member and you do nothing, you will not receive any Settlement benefits. You will give up the rights explained in FAQ 11 and FAQ 12 above, including your right to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant or any of the Released Persons about the legal issues in this Action that are released by the Settlement Agreement.
Getting More Information
The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. Complete details are provided in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement and other related documents can be viewed on the Important Documents page of this website, or you can request a copy by writing to LifeBridge Class Action Settlement, c/o Settlement Administrator 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Publicly-filed documents can also be obtained by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT REGARDING THE NOTICE.
THE COURT CANNOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.