UPMC begins payments to 66,000 employees affected by 2014 data breach

On March 31, UPMC will begin making payments to 66,000 employees who were victims of a 2014 data breach, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

The payments are part of a settlement that resulted from a 2014 class-action lawsuit filed against UPMC by its employees. They filed the lawsuit after discovering that UPMC's payroll system had been breached and many employees had their personal data stolen. 

A federal investigation showed that hacker Justin Sean Johnson, who has been sentenced to seven years in prison, sold UPMC employees' information on the dark web, resulting in more than $1.7 million in false tax returns filed based on the breach.

The settlement was approved Dec. 29, with one of its provisions being that UPMC will pay $1,679,000 to an escrow account to compensate its employees who were affected by the reach.

In a March 28 email, the Pittsburgh-based system notified employees that they will receive a link to electronically claim their payment, which is expected to be between $10 and $20. Employees who experienced fraud or identity theft will receive up to $5,000 for out-of-pocket losses and up to $250 for inconvenience. UPMC also offered free credit monitoring to all employees for five years.

In the settlement, UPMC denied any wrongdoing and said the agreement "shall in no event be construed or deemed to be evidence in any other litigation."

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