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VA agrees to pay $20M in laptop theft case

VA agrees to pay $20M in laptop theft case
VA agrees to pay $20M in laptop theft case

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By Mary Mosquera
Jan 28, 2009

The Veterans Affairs Department has agreed to pay $20 million to settle 
a lawsuit filed by veterans over the risk of potential identity theft 
when a VA laptop PC that contained their sensitive information was 
stolen in 2006. The laptop contained files with personally identifiable 
information on millions of veterans, such as names, birth dates and 
Social Security numbers.

Attorneys for the VA and the veterans filed legal papers Jan. 27 in U.S. 
District Court for the District of Columbia to settle the suit, and a 
judge must approve the terms of the settlement. The class-action 
lawsuit, filed in 2006, asked for $1,000 in damages for every veteran 
whose data was put at risk.

After the theft, the VA offered to provide credit protection for 
veterans whose data was on the laptop thieves stole from the Maryland 
home of a VA analyst. Law enforcement officials later recovered the 
laptop PC, and forensic investigators determined that the criminals had 
not accessed sensitive data, department officials said.

=E2=80=9CWe want to assure veterans there is no evidence that the information 
involved in this incident was used to harm a single veteran,=E2=80=9D a VA 
spokeswoman said in a statement.


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