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Sony reaches settlement after 2014 hack

By Marilyn Malara
Sony reaches settlement after 2014 hack
Sony has agreed to pay a rough total of $8 million in reimbursement and legal fees after its databases were hacked last year, exposing thousands of employees to identity thefts and other intrusions. Photo by Sony Pictures

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Sony Pictures Entertainment has agreed to pay out roughly $8 million to settle the class action lawsuit prompted by a massive database breach in 2014.

In addition to cash payouts, almost half of which will go to legal representatives, reports conclude SPE will also provide employees with increased identity theft protection via AllClear and insurance through 2017 free of charge.

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Court documents outlining the proposed details for the settlement, which was made on Sept. 1, were released Monday.

The documents reveal Sony is willing to pay up to $4.5 million in compensation, $2 million of which going to un-reimbursed expenses and the rest towards losses experienced from identity theft.

An additional $2 million will be given to plaintiffs who spent their own money in attempts to protect themselves from identity theft after the breach, the documents say. The maximum individual payout for each member of this group will be $1,000.

Most of the money Sony is dishing out will go to lawyers, however. "SPE will pay any attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses awarded by the Court, not to exceed $3,490,000 separately from the relief for the Settlement Class Members, and thus the attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses will not reduce the relief for the Settlement Class," the plaintiff's lawyers wrote in a a memorandum of points filed in mid-October and obtained by Deadline.

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In November of last year, Sony's Internet security systems were hacked, exposing the personal information of about 3,000 current and former employees, executive correspondence and project budgets. Reactions and responses to the hack were numerous and varied, as the hack revealed otherwise secret information about specific movies, actors and executives.

Ultimately, Sony blamed a North Korean team of hackers for the security breech as it occurred just before the company's release of The Interview, which mocked the country's leader.

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