Home Class Action Lawsuits Dental Care Alliance data breach $3M class action settlement

Dental Care Alliance data breach $3M class action settlement

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Dental Care Alliance agreed to pay $3 million to resolve claims it failed to protect consumers from a data breach.

The settlement benefits individuals who were notified of the Dental Care Alliance data breach in October 2020, December 2020 or April 2021. This includes a subclass of individuals whose notice indicated their Social Security number, financial account information, bank account data and/or driver’s license number were potentially affected by the data breach.

Dental Care Alliance is a third-party support vendor for over 320 dental practices across 20 states. In December 2020, the vendor began informing clients it had been subject to a nearly monthlong data breach from Sept. 18 to Oct. 13, 2020. The breach reportedly affected the health information, payment card information, health insurance data and even Social Security numbers of 1 million patients.

Affected dental patients quickly took legal action against Dental Care Alliance, arguing the company failed in its duty to protect patient information from third-party hackers. 

Plaintiffs in the Dental Care Alliance class action lawsuit claim the data breach could have been prevented with reasonable cybersecurity measures. Instead, the company allegedly maintained private information in a “reckless manner” that left systems vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“Plaintiffs and Class Members are now at an increased risk of identity theft because of defendant’s negligent conduct since the private information that defendant collected and maintained is now in the hands of data thieves,” the data breach class action lawsuit contends.

Dental Care Alliance hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing but agreed to resolve these claims with a $3 million settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, class members can receive up to $2,000 for documented losses resulting from the data breach. This includes up to two hours of lost time at a rate of $20 per hour.

Class members are also eligible for another payment of $3,000 for additional losses if they are part of the settlement subclass. This added payment includes two additional hours of lost time at a rate of $20 per hour. 

All class members can receive two free years of Identity Guard — an identity theft protection program that provides data breach notifications, dark web monitoring and $1 million in identity theft insurance. Class members may have received an activation code in their settlement notice, but may need to submit a claim to receive these benefits.

Dental Care Alliance agreed to improve its data security measures as part of the settlement, although the details of these improvements won’t be released to the public.

The deadline for exclusion and objection passed on July 26, 2022. 

The final approval hearing for the settlement is scheduled for Sept. 1, 2022.

In order to receive a payment and other settlement benefits, class members must submit a valid claim form by Aug. 25, 2022.

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