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Posted at 04:58 PM on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 by post9021(via AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge [earlier this month] approved the government's plans to pay a total of $20 million to veterans exposed to possible identity theft in 2006, calling it a welcome deal to settle lawsuits after a Veterans Affairs employee lost a laptop containing their sensitive personal information.
The payments will range from $75 to $1,500 for up to 26.5 million veterans who incurred out of pocket expenses for credit monitoring or physical symptoms of emotional distress. In exchange, lawyers for the veterans agreed to drop their class-action lawsuit alleging invasion of privacy in a case involving the government's largest data security breach.
"Thank you, to the government in particular, for the $20 million," said U.S. District Judge James Robertson. "Everyone has got to like this."
The judge's move [this month] means that lawyers will now notify veterans of the settlement in newspapers and magazines around the country. Once veterans submit their claims, lawyers for both sides will return to court in July for final approval for the payments.