Wawa, an American gas station and convenience store chain, will pay out a $13 million settlement due to allegations regarding the data breach.
Wawa Data Breach Issue
Wawa was sued back in 2019 when data breach issues have been reported concerning its customers. According to reports, the malware was installed in Wawa’s systems. The malware was discovered in December 2019 that resulted in a significant data breach affecting all of its locations.
The breach allegedly exposed their customer’s personal information, including credit card information, names, and addresses.
It was later found out that the extent of the data breach affects customers who have transacted with Wawa from March 4, 2019. A lawsuit was filed against Wawa by its consumers for failing to protect their confidential data. The lawsuit also alleges that Wawa has failed to take precautionary measures to prevent the data breach.
The lawsuit argues that Wawa has not handled the issue well by failing to give its customers timely updates regarding the resolution steps they were taking.
The plaintiffs assert that Wawa’s actions have exposed consumers to potential security threats, including identity theft and fraud.
The Class Action Settlement
In February 2021, a motion was filed for a proposed settlement in the Pennsylvania Eastern District.
According to the proposed settlement, Wawa will pay out the following:
- Wawa gift cards amounting to $8 million for affected class members who used cards to pay in Wawa.
- Cash payments amounting to $1 million for affected class members who lost money due to the data breach
- An amount of up to $3.2 million for the plaintiff’s administrative fees, including attorney fees
The settlement also aims to require Wawa to update its security systems to prevent any potential data breach in the future.
The following individuals are eligible to apply as class members and make claims:
- Individuals who have used their debit or credit cards to pay in Wawa stores from March 4, 2019, to December 12, 2019
- Individuals who have suffered any form of loss resulting from the data breach discovered in Wawa’s systems
Class Members Groups
Eligible class members may fall into one of the three groups identified in the proposed settlement:
- Class members who have made a transaction with Wawa using a debit or credit card during the specified time will receive a $5 Wawa gift card.
- Class members who have made a transaction with Wawa and have been charged incorrectly due to fraudulent activities from the data exposure will receive a $15 Wawa gift card. Additional documentation that will serve as proof of the fraudulent activity is needed when making a claim under this group.
- Class members who have suffered any form of loss due to their data exposure can get a compensation of up to $500.
Eligible individuals will need to submit a claim form to be compensated.
If individuals do not qualify under the group they have applied to will automatically be qualified to the closest eligible group.
Judge Approves $12.2 Million Wawa Data Breach Class Action Settlement Agreement, Related Proceedings To Push Through Amidst Contentions
Pennsylvania federal court judge has given their stamp of approval and has allowed the Wawa Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Agreement proceedings to push through. However, a few parties involved have voiced out their protests in the latest development.
Pennsylvania Court Judge Gives Thumbs Up To Wawa Data Breach Class Action Settlement
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s judge Honorable Judge Gene E.K. Pratter has mandated the initially reported settlement agreement terms and conditions forged between the plaintiff and defendant to move forward with the necessary processes.
The settlement stemmed from a class action lawsuit filed against Wawa after it was found out that the company’s payment processing system servers were infiltrated by a malware program. The software allegedly potentially exposed Wawa customers’ sensitive financial information at the retailer’s estimated 900 store locations nationwide.
Judge Pratter approved the notion that Wawa will have to pay a total amount of $12.2 million as a settlement fund to have the charges against them not be heard in a trial. According to reports and information available, the said amount will be subdivided into different components.
It is said that $8 million will be set aside to distribute gift cards to customers who have used their cards at any Wawa location between the 4th of March to the 12th of December 2019. Furthermore, $1 million will be given to clients, in the form of cash payments, that have experienced financial losses as a result of the data breach incident.
To top all of that, more than $3 million will be paid to the other related legal charges and to the attornies representing the case in court.
Contentions Present As Settlement Brief Released
The abovementioned details were contested and challenged by a participating Class group in the settlement proceedings consisting mainly of Wawa employees. They argued to the judge that the gift card option was not viable, and they were left out of the mediation sessions. Nevertheless, Judge Pratter shrugged off the allegations and told them that their concerns can be dealt with later on during the whole settlement process.
Per the Wawa Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Agreement’s initial brief, Wawa customers that are qualified to join are guaranteed to receive a minimum of $5 Wawa gift card. In the event that a Wawa client has suffered any financial losses due to the data breach incident, they may receive cash payments of up to $500.
Besides paying the settlement fund amount, Wawa has also promised to improve its data security features to possibly prevent any data breach incident from happening again in the future.
Future updates will be relayed on the Consider The Consumer official site as soon as they are released to the public. Stay tuned.
About The Company
Wawa, officially known as Wawa Inc., is a convenience store and gas station company founded in 1964. Primarily operating almost 900 different store locations in the states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland, Wawa is headquartered in Wawa, Pennsylvania. As of the year 2019, the company has made $13 billion in revenues.
Editor’s Note on Wawa Data Breach Lawsuit Settlement Amounted At $13 Million:
This settlement news updates readers of a Pennsylvania court’s decision to allow the settlement proceedings revolving around the Wawa Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit to push forward although dissenting opinions were presented.
Case Name(s) & No.(s): In Re: Wawa Inc. Data Security Litigation; Case No.: 2:19-cv-06019
Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Products/Services Involved: Wawa payment service
Allegation(s): Wawa Inc.’s data systems were infiltrated by malicious software after the company failed to set up the necessary security measures to prevent such scenarios from happening.
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