Canada Student Loans Privacy Breach Class Action – Notice of Settlement Approval

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What happened?

A class action lawsuit alleged that on November 5, 2012, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (“HRSDC”, now known as Employment and Social Development Canada) or the National Student Loan Services Centre lost an external hard drive that contained personal information of individuals who were student loans borrowers between 2000 and 2007.

The class action settled and now it is time to pay money to the people who had their information contained on the lost hard drive (“Class Members”).

The notice sets out how Class Members can make claims for compensation and the deadline for doing so.

The settlement

The defendant paid $17,500,000 (“Settlement Amount”) plus an unlimited amount for Actual Losses to settle the class action in return for a release and a dismissal of the lawsuit.

How much money can I get?

Class Members who suffered inconvenience

Class Members will receive $60 on account of the inconvenience associated with the loss of their personal information (the “Payments”).  The Payments are intended to compensate Class Members for time spent responding to the potential privacy breach, estimated to be on average about four hours less legal fees and the costs of administration.  In the event that the total amount of the approved claims by Class Members exceeds the amount of money available for the Settlement Amount, the Payments will be reduced proportionally.

Class members who suffered actual losses

You can also claim additional amounts for any actual losses that you suffered and have not been reimbursed for (“Actual Losses”).  Actual Losses must be as a result of your personal information being contained on the lost hard drive.  An arbitrator will determine whether you suffered Actual Losses and, if so, asses your individual damages.

How do I make a claim?

You can make a claim by going to www.studentloansclassaction.com and completing the brief online claim form.  You must complete a claim form before January 18, 2019 @ 5:00 pm EDT.

If you are making a claim for a $60 Payment on account of inconvenience, you only need to submit the information required on the claim form.

If you are making a claim for actual losses, you still need to submit a claim form and you also need to submit documents that show the losses you suffered and documents that prove those losses were a result of the lost hard drive.  Further instruction on how to make a claim for Actual Losses can be found at www.studentloansclassaction.com.

Who can make the claim?

The Federal Court will hold a hearing at a courthouse in Ottawa, Ontario, on February 22, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST to consider whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the Class and whether to approve Class Counsel fees. Class Members who do not oppose the proposed settlement do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action at this time to indicate their intention to participate in the proposed settlement. If the settlement is approved, there will be a further detailed notice to Class Members providing instructions about making a claim for compensation.

When do I need to make my claim?

You must submit your claim form before January 18, 2019 @ 5:00pm EDT.  If your claim form is not submitted before the deadline, you will not be eligible to receive compensation.

I opted out of the class action. Can I still make a claim?

Yes. If you opted out of the class action, you can still make a claim if you want to participate in the settlement.

Does it cost anything to make a claim?

No, it does not cost anything to make a claim.

When will I receive money?

It is hoped that approved claims will be processed by the first half of 2019. The Claims Administrator will send out notices to everyone who filed a claim.  Once all claims are processed, the Claims Administrator will send claimants an electronic transfer of funds.

I have more questions. Who can I talk to?

For questions regarding this notice or the settlement please go to www.studentloansclassaction.com or email your questions to:

BRANCH MACMASTER LLP
Chelsea Hermanson
1410 - 777 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6S 1S4
Email: chermanson@branmac.com
CHARNEY LAWYERS
Tina Yang
602-151 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON M5S 1S4
Email: tinay@charneylawyers.com
STROSBERG SASSO SUTTS LLP
CSharon Strosberg
1561 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON N8X 1K5
Email: sharon@strosbergco.com
BOB BUCKINGHAM LAW
Bob Buckingham
81 Bond Street, St. John’s, NL A1C 1T2
Email: bob@buckinghamlaw.ca

Interpretation

The notice has been approved by the Court and is a summary of some of the terms of the settlement.  If there is a conflict between the provisions of this Notice and the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Agreement prevails.  The complete executed Settlement Agreement can be viewed at www.studentloansclassaction.com.

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