In documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Target and consumers outlined a tentative agreement to reimburse those who were hurt financially by the retailer’s data breach in late 2013.
Under the terms of the preliminary agreement, Target will set up a $10 million settlement fund within 10 days of a finalized pact.
“Anyone in the United States whose credit or debit card and/or personal information was compromised because of the breach would be able to apply for a part of the settlement,” documents say.
Target suggests that claims would be submitted and processed primarily online through a dedicated website. Consumers also would have an option to file by mail, and would have to provide “reasonable documentation showing their losses … arose from the Target data breach,” according to the court papers. Any one consumer could be reimbursed for a maximum of $10,000.
Those making a claim would fill out a two-page form asking, among other questions, “Did you use a credit or debit card at any United States Target store, excluding the target.com website, between Nov. 27, 2013, through and including Dec. 18, 2013?”
Target selected Rust Consulting to serve as the settlement administrator, pending the court’s approval. “We are pleased to see the process moving forward and look forward to its resolution,” Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said in a statement.
In the documents filed in court, Target said that it’s agreeing to settle the claims “to reduce and avoid further expense, inconvenience, and the distraction of burdensome and protracted litigation and thereby to resolve any controversy.”
During the 2013 holiday shopping season, about 40 million consumers had their payment card information stolen when hackers infiltrated Target’s point-of-sale systems.
Another 70 million people had their personal information compromised.
In December, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson rejected Target’s main argument to dismiss the case — that consumers did not have enough standing to establish injury. He noted that the 114 named plaintiffs have invoked such things as unlawful charges, restricted or blocked access to bank accounts, inability to pay other bills, and late payment charges.
MARY LYNN SMITH