Home Depot settles breach-related consumer lawsuit for $19.5 million

Home Depot will pay up to $19.5 million to settle class-action consumer complaints related to its 2014 security breach, according to court documents.

The company will use a $13 million fund to compensate consumers for documented out-of-pocket losses, unreimbursed charges and for efforts dealing with problems the breach may have created.

The Atlanta-based home improvement giant also will contribute $6.5 million for 18 months of identity protection for customers under the class action.

Home Depot to hire 80,000 temporary seasonal workers, including more than 1,200 in metro Atlanta.

Home Depot settles lawsuit.

“We’re working to put the litigation behind us and this was the most expeditious path, but it’s not an admission of liability and our customers have been our primary focus throughout,” said Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes. “It’s also important to note that customers were not responsible for fraudulent charges.”

The breach, one of the largest in the nation, took place between April and September in 2014. Two weeks after acknowledging the hack, Home Depot said cybercriminals made off with information from an estimated 56 million “unique” payment cards at its stores.

Since then the company has spent about $261 million on breach-related expenses, $100 million of which was covered by insurance.

More than 50 lawsuits were filed after the breach was disclosed, each seeking class action status —- one for consumers and the other for financial institutions such as banks and credit unions.

In December, credit giant MasterCard reached a settlement amount, but some financial institutions have not decided whether they will accept it or not.

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