Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll offices in Washington, D.C.

Tell us about your biggest win or wins this year.

On August 16, 2018, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh granted final approval to an historic $115 million settlement in a multidistrict litigation stemming from the Anthem, Inc. data breach in 2015. In February 2015, Anthem reported that it had incurred a massive data breach that compromised the Personally Identifiable Information and Personal Health Information of 78.8 million insureds, thus constituting one of the largest data breaches ever. Judge Koh described the $115 million settlement—the largest ever in a consumer data breach litigation—as “exceptional,” and observed that “Class Counsel achieved an impressive benefit for the Class.”

Recently, what’s been the most significant change in your practice area and how have you adjusted?

Judge Koh’s opinions in the Anthem matter have changed the landscape for future data breach suits. The ability to pursue “benefit of the bargain” damages and “market value” damages for the loss of personally identifiable information give plaintiffs another strong tool in their fight to hold corporations to a higher standard of responsibility to protect their customers’ data.

Answers submitted by Andrew N. Friedman, partner and co-chair, consumer protection practice.