We have received hundreds of questions about pending legal action against OPM for the data breach, and members are inquiring about possible AMA action.
AFGE has already filed a class action on these issues. AFGE may be in the best position to assert this claim since it represents potentially all impacted federal employees whose information was hacked.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. AFGE and two individuals, Robert Crawford and Adam Dale, are represented by a legal team led by Girard Gibbs LLP, a national litigation firm representing plaintiffs in class and collective actions in state and federal courts, and in arbitration matters worldwide. Girard Gibbs LLP has vast experience with cases involving cybersecurity attacks and data breaches.
Girard Gibbs is conducting a continuing investigation into the data breach. If you were impacted by the breach and have additional information regarding the breach or would like to learn more about the lawsuit, please visit http://www.girardgibbs.com/opm-data-breach- litigation/ or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For ongoing updates visit www.afge.org/databreach.
Having said that our firm has serious doubts that the case will result in damages or any award—even lifetime credit monitoring. Had we chosen to initiate a suit of our own, our legal team would have plead it as one for monetary damages only based on risk of identity theft or personal security risk.
Members have also been inquiring about making a claim directly to OPM. To be clear, individual FAMs do not need anyone to make claims to the OPM on their behalf. They can simply fill out an SF95 Claim for Damages and submit it themselves. A middleman is not necessary. Taking this action though, either individually or collectively through an intermediary, is not a lawsuit.
Our advice: join only one lawsuit, and join the AFGE lawsuit. You do not want to split venues and be seen as shopping around for a payout. The AFGE suit is comprehensive and well done. It exhaustively outlines OPM’s failures and has the best chance of success. For your reference, it can be found below.
This is the age of cyberattacks and data hacks. It is not the first, nor will it be the last incident involving government and industry. Take steps to protect yourself, place credit freezes on your accounts, be on guard for phishing emails and set strong passwords.