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Judge to OK Target's $10-million data-breach settlement

Target agrees to pay $10 million to settle class-action lawsuit over data breach

A federal judge said he would approve Target’s proposed $10-million settlement of a class-action lawsuit stemming from a 2013 data breach.

Judge Paul Magnuson said he would give his approval in a court filing this afternoon, according to David McDowell, attorney for Target. The proposed settlement, filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, could award as much as $10,000 each to customers who submit claim forms and documentation of losses.

Customers without documentation could still submit a claim and be eligible to receive funds after documented losses and court-ordered payments were completed. Claim forms would be processed through the mail or on a special website.

"We are pleased to see the process moving forward and look forward to its resolution," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement.

The massive data breach, which occurred during the holiday shopping season, jeopardized as many as 40 million credit and debit card accounts. Hackers also illegally accessed personal information, like phone numbers and email addresses, from as many as 70 million customers.

Less than five months later, Target's longtime chief executive, Gregg Steinhafel, resigned. He had been with the company for 35 years.

Steinhafel was replaced by Brian Cornell, who had previously served as a PepsiCo executive.

Since the breach, the Minneapolis-based company has struggled to lure back customers. Last week, Target said it would lay off about 1,700 employees and eliminate 1,400 open positions as part of a plan to "transform" its business. The layoffs are part of a $2-billion cost-cutting plan Target said would take place over the next two years.

As part of the settlement, Target also agreed to designate a chief information security officer responsible for protecting customers' personal information. The company also said it would evaluate its security program and provide security training to employees.

Shares of Target were down 40 cents, or 0.49%, to $80.67 in early trading.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

10:44 a.m.: This post has been updated with details about the judge's endorsement of Target's settlement.

This story was first published at 8:03 a.m.

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