VA agrees to settle data theft lawsuit

The Associated Press is reporting:

The Veterans Affairs Department has agreed to pay up to $20 million to veterans for exposing them to possible identity theft in 2006 after losing their sensitive personal information.

In court filings Tuesday, lawyers for the VA and the veterans said they had reached agreement to settle the veterans’ lawsuit alleging invasion of privacy. The money will be used to pay for veterans who suffered actual harm, such as emotional distress or expenses incurred for credit monitoring.


Comment: the APl describes the incident as a lost laptop that was later recovered. The May 2006 incident involved the theft of a laptop from a VA analyst.

Update: a fuller version of the AP story does note that the laptop had been stolen in a home burglary. The proposed settlement would give veterans who show harm from the data theft payments ranging from $75 to $1,500, with any balance of the settlement being donated to veterans’ charities agreed to by the parties, such as the Fisher House Foundation Inc. and The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The proposal still has to be approved by the judge.

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