Colorado residents, following the lead of residents in other states, whose
information may have been compromised by the Anthem data breach, have
filed a class-action lawsuit against the insurance giant. In fact, less
than a day after Anthem Inc. reported hackers stole data on as many as
80 million current and former customers, class action lawsuits against
the company were being filed in California and Alabama.
Who Is Anthem?
Anthem, previously known as WellPoint, Inc., is the largest for-profit
managed health care company in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
and the second-largest health insurance company nationwide. With more
individual policyholders in California than any other insurer, as well
as a healthy share in other states, the Anthem data breach is considered
the largest ever at a U.S. health care company.
Anthem No Stranger to Data Breaches
Anthem officials claim there was no medical information stolen, "only"
names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, street and e-mail addresses.
Investigators believe the cyber-attack originated through Chinese-made
malware. The attack was called "very sophisticated" by Anthem.
Sadly, Anthem is no stranger to data breaches. In 2011 and 2012, Anthem
settled with the California Attorney General after allegations that more
than 30,000 customers' social security numbers were exposed. Then
in 2013, the company suffered a data breach which involved the health
information of more than 612,000 customers. That breach led to a settlement
in the amount of $1.7 million between the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services and Anthem. The Dept. of Health and Human Services received
the settlement because the disclosure of health information is considered
a possible violation of the federal HIPAA privacy statute.
Too Slow to Notify Customers of Breach
Some of the lawsuits against Anthem claim the company waited nine days
to inform customers of the breach. At least 10 U.S. States have sent a
letter to Anthem complaining that they were too slow to notify consumers
that they were victims of a massive data breach. Those states were Arkansas,
Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada,
Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Now, class action lawsuits are being filed.
Was Sensitive Data Readily Available to Hackers?
By all accounts, the data Anthem claimed to be protecting, was not even
encrypted. There are no current laws which dictate data similar to Anthem's
must be encrypted, and, in fact, many companies do
not encrypt data so it will be more accessible. Although encryption can be
expensive, Anthem may find the lawsuits they are facing even more expensive.
Just two days after the announcement of the data breach, Anthem was forced
to warn customers of an e-mail scam campaign which targeted current and
previous Anthem customers. The e-mail scam was meant to convince customers
Anthem was offering free credit monitoring (which they are, but these
services are only announced via mail sent through the USPS).
Getting the Help You Need
Anthem has launched a webpage for updates on the data breach and has stated
they are working closely with AllClear ID-an identity protection provider.
Anthem has offered all customers whose information was compromised twenty-four
months of identity-theft monitoring services for free. Those who have
been notified their information was compromised-as well as customers from
many of Anthem's subsidiary companies-may be able to pursue legal
action against Anthem.
You may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit, if you are a member of:
- Anthem Blue Cross
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Contact Our National Class Action Lawyers
To learn more about your legal options and to see whether you qualify to
take part in a class action lawsuit against Anthem, call Golomb &
Honik today. We have extensive experience handing large class action lawsuits
and our firm has the resources needed to take large insurance companies
like Anthem to trial. Call us at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential
The class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik have successfully represented
individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout
the United States.