3:50pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Sony Reaches Settlement to Resolve Class Action Over Hacked Employee Data
Attorneys for a proposed class action against Sony Pictures over a large hack attack have revealed in court papers filed on Wednesday they have reached an agreement in principle to resolve the dispute.
The judge overseeing negligence claims has been asked to push back deadlines so that the settlement may be presented in California federal court. Because this is a class action, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Klausner will need to approve it.
According to a declaration by attorney Daniel Girard, the deal came together on Monday after a mediation session and months of discussions. The parties are still preparing settlement documentation.
The deal would likely stave off debate on certification of the class action. The judge denied Sony's motion to dismiss in June, but had yet to rule on Sony's attempt to argue that there wasn't enough commonality in the claims from former employees. Sony had also contended that damages were impossible to prove on a class basis thanks to many other corporate hacks.
The lawsuit led by Michael Corona is a consolidated action of more than a half-dozen lawsuits that were filed this winter after a data breach that has been attributed by the U.S. government to North Korea in anticipation of the release of The Interview. There are two other lawsuits filed in California state court that have been paused while the federal court litigation plays out.
The motion for preliminary approval of the proposed settlement is being planned for filing before Oct.19.
If approved, former employees will also have the opportunity to opt out of claims to continue pursuing legal action against Sony.