The Court directed that the Notice be provided because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement that has been reached in this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, and after objections or appeals, if any, are resolved, the Claims Administrator appointed by the Court will distribute the payments that the Settlement allows. This Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what payments are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
The Court in charge of these cases is the Bristol County Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The cases are known as Shedd v. Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Inc., Case No. 2173 CV 00498 consolidated with Bennett v. Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Inc., Case No. 2273 CV 00162 (the “Lawsuit”). The people who filed the Lawsuit are called the Plaintiffs and the entity they sued, Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Inc., is called the Defendant.
The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant was responsible for the Data Breach and asserts claims such as: (1) negligence; (2) breach of implied contract; (3) breach of fiduciary duty; (4) unjust enrichment; (5) violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Law (M. G. L., c. 93A); and (6) violation of M.G.L., c. 214, § 1B (invasion of privacy). The Lawsuit seeks, among other things, payment for persons who were injured by the Data Breach.
Defendant has denied and continues to deny all of the claims made in the Lawsuit, as well as all charges of wrongdoing or liability against it.
In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Together, all these people are called a Class or Class members. One Court and one judge resolves the issues for all Class members.
The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, the Plaintiffs negotiated a settlement with Defendant that allows both the Plaintiffs and Defendant to avoid the risks and costs of lengthy and uncertain litigation and the uncertainty of a trial and appeals. It also allows Settlement Class Members to obtain payment and credit monitoring services without further delay. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members. This Settlement does not mean that Defendant did anything wrong.
Who is Included in the Settlement
The Settlement Class includes all persons whose PII or PHI was compromised as a result of the Cyber-Attack that Sturdy Memorial Hospital discovered on or about February 9, 2021.
Yes. Specifically excluded from the Settlement Class are: (i) any members of the judiciary who have or are presiding over the Litigation, their staffs, and members of their families; (ii) Sturdy Memorial and its officers and directors; and (iii) any other Person found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be guilty under criminal law of initiating, causing, aiding or abetting the criminal activity occurrence of the Data Breach or who pleads nolo contendere to any such charge.
What You Get if You Qualify
The Settlement provides credit monitoring services to all Settlement Class Members, as well as payments to Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims.
Settlement Class Members can claim (i) up to $375 compensation for Ordinary Losses, including ordinary Out-of-Pocket Expenses and Lost Time of up to three (3) hours at $20 per hour (see FAQ 8, below); and (ii) up to $5,000 in Extraordinary Losses (see FAQ 9, below). You may submit a claim for any or all of these types of payments. In order to claim each type of payment (except for Lost Time), you must provide related documentation with the Claim Form.
The Settlement provides that Defendant will implement and keep in place various security-related measures through June 29, 2024. Defendant will also implement additional security-related measures as a result of the Data Breach.
Settlement Class Members are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $375 (in total) for the following categories of documented Out-Pocket Expenses resulting from the Data Breach, including but not limited to:
- fees for credit reports;
- 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.
As part of the Ordinary Expense Reimbursement, Settlement Class Members may make a claim for up to three (3) hours of Lost Time (calculated at $20 per hour), if they attest the claimed time was spent responding to issues raised by the Data Breach.
Settlement Class Members may also make a claim for up to $5,000 in compensation for Extraordinary Losses for proven monetary loss if:
- the loss is an actual, documented, and unreimbursed loss,
- the loss was more likely than not caused by the Data Breach,
- the loss occurred between February 9, 2021, and the Claims Deadline;
- the loss is not already covered by one or more of the normal reimbursement categories, and
- the Settlement Class member made reasonable efforts to avoid, or seek reimbursement for, the loss, including but not limited to exhaustion of all available credit monitoring insurance and identity theft insurance.
Claims for Ordinary Losses (except Lost Time) and Extraordinary Losses must be supported by reasonable documentation.
The Settlement provides for free credit monitoring services for all Settlement Class Members. If you are a Settlement Class Member who previously signed up for credit monitoring services offered by Sturdy Memorial following the Data Breach, you are entitled to receive one-year of Experian 1B credit monitoring services, in addition to the credit monitoring in which you are enrolled. If you are a Settlement Class Member who did not previously sign up for credit monitoring services offered by Sturdy Memorial following the Data Breach, you are entitled to receive two years of Experian 1B credit monitoring services.
Credit monitoring codes were included in the mailed notice sent to Settlement Class Members. The mailed notice will include a website and telephone number for you to use to redeem your credit monitoring services online or by telephone. If you believe you are a Settlement Class Member, but did not receive a notice, you may contact the Claims Administrator at info@SturdySettlement.com or call 1-888-477-7331.
More details are provided in the Settlement Agreement, which is available at the Important Documents page.
How to Get Benefits - Submitting a Claim Form
To ask for a payment, you must complete and submit a Claim Form. Claim Forms are available on the Important Documents page, where you may also submit your Claim Form online. You may also request one by mail by calling 1-888-477-7331. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form, and either submit it online or mail it postmarked no later than February 14, 2023 to:
c/o Claims Administrator
1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Claims Administrator will initially decide whether the information provided on a Claim Form is complete and valid. The Claims Administrator may require additional information from any claimant. If the required information is not timely provided, the claim will be considered invalid and will not be paid.
Additional information regarding the claims process can be found in the Settlement Agreement, available on the Important Documents page.
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 2:00 pm on February 16, 2023 to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether any appeals can be resolved favorably and resolving them can take time. It also takes time for all the Claim Forms to be processed, depending on the number of claims submitted and whether any appeals are filed. Please be patient.
Remaining in the Settlement
You do not have to do anything to remain in the Settlement, but if you want a payment you must submit a Claim Form postmarked or submitted online by February 14, 2023.
If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue Sturdy Memorial for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against Sturdy Memorial are described in the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” Sturdy Memorial and all related people or entities as described in Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is available at the Important Documents page.
The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions about what this means you can talk to the attorneys listed in FAQ 16 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer at your own expense.
The Lawyers Representing You
Yes. The Court appointed the following law firms to represent you and other Settlement Class Members:
- Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC
- Pastor Law Office, LLP
- Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP
- Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP
- Law Office of Sean K. Collins
These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees not to exceed $300,000, and to pay for the costs of the mediation between the parties. Class Counsel will also request approval of a service award of $1,500 for each of the four Class Representatives.
Objecting to the Settlement
You can tell the Court that you do not agree with the Settlement or some part of it.
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like it or a portion of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. The Court will consider your views before making a decision. To object, you must file with the Court and mail copies to Class Counsel, David K. Lietz, Esq., Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC, 5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 440, Washington, D.C. 20015, and Defendant’s Counsel, David A. Carney, Esq., 127 Public Square, Suite 2000, Cleveland, Ohio, 44114, a written notice stating that you object to the Settlement in Shedd v. Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Inc., Case No. 2173 CV 00498 consolidated with Bennett v. Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Inc., Case No. 2273 CV 00162.
Your objection must include: (i) your full name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, if any; (ii) information identifying you as a Settlement Class Member, including proof that you are a member of the Settlement Class (e.g., copy of settlement notice, copy of original notice of the Data Breach); (iii) a written statement of all grounds for your objection, accompanied by any legal support for the objection that you believe is applicable; (iv) the identity of all counsel representing you, if any; (v) the identity of all counsel representing you who will appear at the Final Fairness Hearing, if any; (vi) a statement confirming whether you intend to personally appear at the Final Fairness Hearing; (vii) your signature and the signature of your duly authorized attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation setting forth such representation), if any; and (xiii) a list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you (directly or through counsel) have filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last three (3) years.
Your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Bristol County Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, located at 9 Court Street, Taunton, MA 02780 and served upon Class Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel at the addresses below no later than January 14, 2023.
MILBERG COLEMAN BRYSON PHILLIPS GROSSMAN, PLLC
BAKER & HOSTETLER LLP
The Courts Final Fairness Hearing
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to.
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 2:00 pm on February 16, 2023, in the Bristol County Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, located at 9 Court Street, Taunton, MA 02780. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will take into consideration any properly filed written objections and may also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing (see FAQ 18). The Court will also decide whether to approve fees and reasonable litigation costs to Class Counsel, and the service awards to the Class Representatives.
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend at your own expense. If you file an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. You may also hire your own lawyer to attend, at your own expense, but you are not required to do so.
Yes, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must follow the instructions provided in FAQ 18 above.
If You Do Nothing
If you do nothing, you will not receive any compensation from this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the Settlement Agreement. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant or related parties about the issues involved in the Lawsuit, resolved by this Settlement, and released by the Settlement Agreement.
Getting More Information
Yes. The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which is available on the Important Documents page.
Visit this website for more information or contact the Claims Administrator by mail, email or phone:
Mail: Sturdy Memorial Settlement, c/o Claims Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court or Defendant for additional information.
They cannot answer any questions regarding the Settlement or the Lawsuit.