Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this Notice being provided?
This Class Notice is provided pursuant to an order issued by the Court to inform you of the proposed Settlement and the Final Approval Hearing to be held by the Court to consider, among other things, (a) whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved; and (b) Class Counsel's request for Class Counsel Fees and Expenses and the Class Representative's request for a Service Award. This Class Notice explains the nature of the lawsuit, the general terms of the proposed Settlement (including the benefits available), and your legal rights and obligations. This Class Notice is not an expression of any opinion by the Court as to the merits of the claims or defenses asserted in the Action.
The Honorable Judge David M. Reddy of the Walworth County Wisconsin Circuit Court is overseeing this action, which is known as Goetz v. Benefit Recovery Specialists, Inc., 20 CV 550 (the “Action”). The person that filed the lawsuit is called the “Plaintiff.” Benefit Recovery Specialists, Inc. is the “Defendant.”
What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit alleges that on or about April 20, 2020 to April 30, 2020, BRSI was the victim of a cyberattack resulting in the disclosure of personal information and protected health information, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, medical history information, health insurance information, and other information (the “Data Breach”).
Plaintiff claims that BRSI did not adequately protect personal information and that as a result of the Data Breach people were harmed. BRSI denies any wrongdoing, and no court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any wrongdoing or that any law has been violated.
Why is this a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called “class representatives” sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. The Plaintiff (the class representative here), together with the people she represents, are called Settlement Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those people who timely exclude themselves from the Settlement Class. In this case, the Class Representative is Terri A. Goetz.
Why is there a Settlement?
The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiff or BRSI. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. Settlement avoids the costs and uncertainty of trial and related appeals, while providing benefits to members of the Settlement Class. The Class Representatives= and attorneys for the Settlement Class (“Settlement Class Counsel”) believe the Settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class Members.
WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT
How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
You are included in the Settlement Class if you are a member of the following:
All persons whose personal information and/or protected health information was compromised in Benefit Recovery Specialists Inc.'s Data Breach.
What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?
If you are not sure whether you are in the Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, call the toll-free number, 1-833-937-0337. You also may write with questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS
What benefits does the Settlement provide?
BRSI will provide Settlement Class Members the following benefits under the Settlement: (1) coverage under IDX's credit monitoring and identity restoration services for an additional period of two years; and (2) reimbursement of documented Economic Losses up to $2,500.00 per Settlement Class Member, which are: (a) related to the Data Breach; (b) not otherwise reimbursable by IDX or another third party; (c) supported by required documentation; and (d) meets all requirements set forth in the Reimbursement Form and the Settlement Agreement.
Complete details regarding the settlement benefits are available in the Settlement Agreement, which is available at here.
Tell me more about enrollment in IDX plan.
Settlement Class Members can enroll in the following IDX credit monitoring and identity restoration plan: see FAQ 7 - Identity Theft Protection.
Identity Theft Protection.
Settlement Class Members shall have the option to sign-up for the two years of IDX services offered by the Settlement (“Settlement Offering”).1 If a Settlement Class Member elects to utilize the Settlement Offering, he or she can make that election by July 29, 2022. If a Settlement Class Member elects to receive the Settlement Offering, he or she must activate the IDX plan in accordance with the instructions provided.
1IDX's credit monitoring and identity restoration services include: (i) credit monitoring, (ii) dark web monitoring, (iii) identity theft insurance with coverage up to $1,000,000, and (iii) fully managed identity recovery
Tell me more about reimbursement of economic costs.
Reimbursement of Documented Economic Losses. Any Settlement Class Member may submit one or more Claims for reimbursement for documented Economic Losses related to the Data Breach that have not been reimbursed by IDX or other third parties, up to an aggregate total of $2,500.00 per Settlement Class Member, provided, however, that no Settlement Class Member may submit a Reimbursement Form unless said Settlement Class Member has first elected to receive and enrolled in the IDX Settlement Offering, submitted a Reimbursement Claim to IDX, IDX has denied the claim, and said Settlement Class Member has exhausted IDX's claims process. Claims may be submitted electronically or in paper format. Any Settlement Class Member whose Reimbursement Claim to IDX is rejected for failure to submit a claim within IDX's required time period may not submit a Claim for reimbursement under this process. If a Settlement Class Member submitted a timely Reimbursement Claim to IDX and IDX denied the claim for failure to provide sufficient supporting materials, then the loss may not be claimed for reimbursement hereunder.
Settlement Class Members who wish to make a timely and properly supported Claim for reimbursement of Economic Losses related to the Data Breach must provide to the Settlement Administrator the information required to evaluate the claim, including: (a) the Claimant's name and current address; (b) if applicable, a signed copy of IRS Form 14039 along with a statement under penalty of perjury that the form was submitted to the Internal Revenue Service; (c) the bills or invoices documenting the amount of the Claim and proof that the bills or invoices were paid; (d) documentation showing that the claim was submitted to IDX, denied by IDX, and that the IDX claims process was exhausted; and (e) a statement signed under penalty of perjury indicating that: (i) the Economic Losses claimed are fairly traceable to the Data Breach; and (ii) the total amount claimed has not been reimbursed by any other person or entity. Third-party documentation of Economic Losses is required to establish a Claim. Economic Losses that are compensated under this Agreement are those that are reasonable and customarily incurred when responding to the type of fraud or identity theft suffered by the Settlement Class Member from the Data Breach.
HOW TO GET SETTLEMENT BENEFITS
How can I enroll in the IDX plan?
To receive the IDX Settlement Offering from BRSI, Settlement Class Members must submit an Election Form by mail or through the Settlement Website by July 29, 2022. The Settlement Administrator will notify you of any deficiencies with respect to your Election Form, and you will have 21 days after such notice is sent to correct these deficiencies. The Settlement Administrator will then issue a final decision on your entitlement to the IDX plan.
An Election Form is available here or by calling 1-833-937-0337. Election Forms are also available by writing to the Settlement Administrator at email@example.com and/or BRSI Settlement Administrator, 1650 Arch St, suite 2210,Philadelphia, PA 19103.
How do I obtain reimbursement of economic costs related to the Data Breach?
For reimbursement of documented Economic Losses related to the Data Breach that have not been reimbursed by IDX or other third party, up to an aggregate total of $2,500.00 in reimbursement per Settlement Class Member and a total of $1,800,000 for all Claims, you must elect to receive and enroll in the IDX Settlement Offering, submit a Reimbursement Claim to IDX which IDX has denied, exhaust IDX's claims process, and complete and submit a Reimbursement Form(s) and provide documentation proving the economic costs as described above. You can get the Reimbursement Form here or by calling 1-833-937-0337. For each Reimbursement Form, you must read the instructions carefully, fill out the form completely, attach the required documentation, and either submit the form and documentation through the Settlement Website, or mail the form postmarked no later than July 29, 2022, to:
BRSI Settlement Administrator
1650 Arch St, suite 2210
Philadelphia, PA 19103
If you have questions about how to file a claim, call 1-833-937-0337 or contact the settlement administrator, here.
When will I receive my reimbursement payment under the Settlement?
If you file a timely and valid Reimbursement Form and submit required documentation, the Settlement Administrator will evaluate your claim to confirm your eligibility and calculate your payment amount. The Settlement Administrator will notify you of any deficiencies with respect to your claim, and you will have 21 days after such notice is sent to correct these deficiencies. The Settlement Administrator will then issue a final decision on your claim.
Payments for valid claims will not be made until after the Settlement is finally approved and all appeals and other reviews have been exhausted.
What am I giving up as part of the Settlement?
Unless you exclude yourself, you cannot sue BRSI or be part of any lawsuit against BRSI about any of the issues in this Action. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The specific claims you are giving up are described in FAQ 9 of the Settlement Agreement. You will be releasing your claims against BRSI and all related people as described in FAQ 9.
The Settlement Agreement is available at here or by calling 1-833-937-0337. The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so please read it carefully. If you have any questions about what this means, you can talk to Settlement Class Counsel, or you can talk to your own lawyer at your own expense.
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
Do I have a lawyer in the case?
Yes, you do have a lawyer in the case. The Court appointed the law firms of Cohen & Malad, LLP, Branstetter, Stranch, & Jennings, PLLC, and Turke & Strauss LLP, to represent you and the Settlement Class. These firms are called “Settlement Class Counsel.” You will not be charged by these lawyers for their work on this case. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court for BRSI to pay for reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses of up to $750,000, and a Class Representative service award not to exceed $2,500. The Court will decide the amount of attorneys' fees, expenses, and service awards. Any attorneys' fees, expenses, and service awards approved will be paid by BRSI and will not reduce the benefits provided to you or the other Settlement Class Members under the proposed Settlement.
EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
What does it mean to exclude myself from the Settlement?
If you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue BRSI about the legal claims in this case, you must take steps to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is also called “opting out” of the Settlement.
If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?
If you exclude yourself, you cannot get anything from the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you may not apply for any benefits under the proposed Settlement and you cannot object to the proposed Settlement.
If I do not exclude myself, can I sue later?
If you do not exclude yourself, you cannot sue later. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue BRSI for all of the claims that this proposed Settlement resolves.
How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
To exclude yourself from the proposed Settlement, you must timely submit, by U.S. Mail, written notice of your intent to opt-out of the Settlement to the Settlement Administrator's designated address established for opt-outs. The written notice must clearly manifest your intent to be excluded from the Settlement Class in Goetz v. Benefit Recovery Specialists, Inc., No. 20 CV 550, and must be signed by you. You can only request exclusion for yourself: you cannot request to exclude any other member of the Settlement Class. Mass opt-outs are not permitted.
To be effective, written notice must be postmarked by May 31, 2022, and mailed to:
BRSI Settlement Administrator
Attn : Exclusions
Philadelphia, PA 19102
You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or on the website.
OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT
How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to or comment on the Settlement, Settlement Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and expenses, and/or the Settlement Class Representative' request for service awards. To object, you must state in writing that you object to the Settlement, and include the following information in your written objection:
- The name of the Action;
- Your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
- A statement of the basis on which you claim to be a Settlement Class Member;
- A written statement of all grounds for your objection, accompanied by any legal support for the objection, and any evidence you wish to introduce in support of the objection;
- The identity of all counsel, if any, representing you, including any former or current counsel who may claim entitlement to compensation for any reason related to the objection to the Settlement or the Fee Application;
- A statement confirming whether you intend to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Approval Hearing and the identification of any counsel representing you who intends to appear at the Final Approval Hearing;
- A list of any persons who will be called to testify at the Final Approval Hearing in support of the objection; and
- Your signature signed under oath and penalty of perjury or, if legally incapacitated, the signature of your duly authorized representative (along with documentation setting forth such legal incapacitation and representation) (an attorney's signature is not sufficient).
Failure to include this information may be grounds for the Court to disregard your objection.
To submit an objection, send a letter the Court either by: (a) mailing it to the Clerk of the Court, Walworth County Circuit Court, P.O. Box 1001, Elkhorn, WI 53121, or; (b) filing the objection in person at 1800 County Trunk NN, Elkhorn, WI 53121. Mailed objections must be filed or postmarked on or before the Objection Deadline, which is May 31, 2022.
What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
You can object to the Settlement when you wish to remain a Settlement Class Member and be subject to the Settlement but disagree with some aspect of the Settlement. An objection allows your views to be heard in Court.
Excluding yourself from the Settlement Class means that you are no longer a Settlement Class Member and do not want the Settlement to apply to you. Once you are excluded, you lose the right to receive any benefits from the Settlement or to object to any aspect of the Settlement because the case no longer affects you.
FINAL APPROVAL HEARING
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 2:00 p.m. CT on July 13, 2022, at the Walworth County Circuit Court, 1800 Country Trunk NN, Elkhorn, WI 53121. At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court may also consider Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and expenses, and the service awards. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. After the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the proposed Settlement and how much to award to Class Counsel as fees and expenses, and the service award. You do not need to attend.
The Final Approval Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so if you wish to attend, it is recommended that you periodically check this website to confirm the date of the Final Approval Hearing.
Do I have to come to the hearing?
You do not have to attend the hearing. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you submit a written objection, you do not have to come to the Fairness Hearing to raise your objection. As long as you timely mailed your written objection, the Court will consider it. You also may pay your own lawyer to attend the Final Approval Hearing, but their attendance is not necessary.
May I speak at the hearing?
Yes, you may speak at the hearing. If you would like to do so, you must indicate your intent to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Approval Hearing and identify any counsel representing you who intends to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, when providing written notice of your objection as noted above regarding how to object to the Settlement. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.
IF YOU DO NOTHING
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you are a Settlement Class Member and you do nothing, you will be legally bound by the Settlement, but you will not receive the IDX Settlement Offering, or reimbursement for Economic Losses related to the Data Breach. You will not be able to bring a lawsuit, continue a lawsuit, or be a part of any other lawsuit against BRSI about the claims in this case.
If you would like to request benefits under the Settlement, you must follow the instructions described in sections 7-10 above.
GETTING MORE INFORMATION
How do I get more information about the proposed Settlement?
This notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are included in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can access Reimbursement and Election Forms and review additional documents on the Settlement Website. You can also request to receive Reimbursement and Election Forms, a copy of the Settlement Agreement, and a detailed notice by mail by calling the toll-free number, 1-833-937-0337.