Tue, Jul 14, 2020

Sensitive Personal Data in Environmental Class Actions

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Environmental class actions stand apart from other types of litigation in several ways. These types of claims can extend over several years, creating the need to maintain a database of personal information for the duration. Environmental class action claims can often include aged data that may require extensive verification.

Our team specializes in lengthy claims processes, tracking changes and storing encrypted, sensitive data over long periods. Our team understands the complex issues that arise with environmental settlements, making us the ideal partner to ensure a smooth settlement administration.

Confidential & Secure Data Collection

Environmental class action settlements historically require the use of a large amount of class member data to aid the validation process. Kroll Settlement Administration has worked on some of the most complex environmental cases to date with a team of highly skilled IT professionals, data specialists, web developers, and programmers. Using our proprietary, leading-edge technology, we maintain strict compliance with all current data security protocols as required by HIPAA, GDPR, AICPA, SOC, and CCPA.

Case Spotlight: Rocky Flats

The case of Cook, et al. v. Rockwell International Corp. and The Dow Chemical Co. is just one example of the environmental class action work that we do. This case specifically highlights our excellence in data security and verification. This lawsuit alleged that Dow and Rockwell, the two companies that operated the manufacturing complex Rocky Flats, released radioactive substances into the surrounding area between 1952 and 1989. The class members included all property owners in the geographic area, but many of the class members had already moved or passed away by the time the class action commenced. Heirs and successors needed to be tracked down to assert their rightful claims.

After a four-month-long trial, two rounds of appeals in the Tenth Circuit Court, and two rounds of petitions for writs of certiorari reviewed by the Supreme Court, a $375 million settlement was finally approved.

Our duties as a settlement administrator ranged from notification and skip tracing of unlocated class members, to claims filing assistance, and in-depth claims analysis. Our extensive legal notice plan included print, TV, radio, and internet that ultimately reached over 11,000 class members. The massive size of the undertaking required the utmost data security and verification.

Our work began in 2016. In October 2018, we distributed a settlement of over $107 million to 8,460 claimants. In December 2018, we distributed $97 million more. Throughout this time, we collected and maintained a secure database of information that resolved the class action without further risk to the claimants, counsel, or the companies involved.

Settlement Administration

Kroll is the leader in complex settlement administration providing end-to-end expertise for class actions, mass torts, and regulatory and government administrations.

Data Breach and Privacy Class Action Administration

End-to-end notice and administration solutions for data breach and privacy matters.