On Friday, the owner of the extramarital affairs website Ashley Madison agreed to pay $11.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of nearly 37 million users whose personal details were exposed after a July 2015 data breach.
Ashley Madison marketed to people who were married or in committed relationships. The website was known for its slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.” However, in 2015 a hacker stole sensitive information from the site including user emails, names, home addresses – and threatened to post the data online if Ashley Madison and fellow Avid Life Media (now Ruby Corp) site EstablishedMen.com were not permanently closed.
The hacker released the information and the damage was done, prompting a class action lawsuit.
According to Reuters, Friday’s settlement will allow users with valid claims to recoup up to $3,500 depending on how well they can document their losses attributable to the breach. Although, the settlement still needs to be approved by a federal judge in St. Louis.
According to court papers, lawyers representing Ashley Madison users may also receive up to one-third of the $11.2 million payout to cover legal fees.
Ruby Corp, the organization formerly known as Avid Life Media Inc, denied any wrongdoing in agreeing to the preliminary class-action settlement.