Orr, et al. v. InterContinental Hotels Group, PLC, et al.

Frequently Asked Questions about the IHG Data Security Settlement

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Questions

Answers

1. Why was the Notice issued?

Answer:

The Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement in this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement.  The Notice explains the legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

Judge Michael L. Brown of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is overseeing this case.  The case is known as Orr, et al. v. InterContinental Hotels Group, PLC, et al., No. 17-cv-01622-MLB.  The persons who sued are called the Plaintiffs.  IHG are called the Defendants.

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2. What is this lawsuit about?

Answer:

The lawsuit claims that IHG was responsible for the Data Security Incidents that occurred, and asserts claims such as: negligence, negligence per se, breach of implied contract, and unjust enrichment. The lawsuit seeks compensation for people who had losses as a result of the Data Security Incidents.

IHG denies all of the Plaintiffs’ claims and says it did not do anything wrong, but was the victim of a sophisticated malware intrusion.

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3. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people called “Representative Plaintiffs” sue on behalf of all people who have similar claims.  All of these people together are the “Settlement Class” or “Settlement Class Members.”  In this case, the Representative Plaintiffs means David Orr, Henry Chamberlain, Angela Mickel, and Jennifer Grady.  One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

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4. Why is there a Settlement?

Answer:

By agreeing to settle, both sides avoid the cost and risk of a trial, and people who submit valid claims will get compensation.  The Representative Plaintiffs and their attorneys believe the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and, thus, best for the Settlement Class and its members.  The Settlement does not mean that IHG did anything wrong.

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5. How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?

Answer:

You are included in the Settlement if you reside in the United States and used a credit or debit card at the front desk of an affected hotel location or to make or attempt to make a purchase at an affected restaurant or bar location during the period in which that hotel, restaurant, or bar was affected by the Data Security Incidents.  (The "Property List" in the 'Documents' section of this website contains all affected locations.)

Specifically excluded from the Settlement Class are: (a) individuals who are or were during the Data Security Incidents officers or directors of IHG; and (b) any justice, judge, magistrate judge, or law clerk of the Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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6. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

Answer:

If you are not sure whether you are included in the Settlement, you may contact the Settlement Administrator:  (1) by calling 1-833-913-4210; (2) through the 'Contact' section of this website; or (3) by writing to: IHG Data Security Settlement; c/o Settlement Administrator; P.O. Box 8247; Philadelphia, PA 19101-8247.

Please do not contact the Court with questions. 

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7. What does the Settlement provide?

Answer:

The Settlement will provide payments to people who submit valid claims for (1) Expense Reimbursement, and/or (2) Fraudulent and Unauthorized Charges Reimbursement.  The total payments to the Settlement Class are capped at $1,550,000.

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8. What payments are available for Expense Reimbursement?

Answer:

Settlement Class Members are eligible to receive expense reimbursement of up to $250 (in total) for the following categories of out-pocket expenses:

Unreimbursed bank fees;

Unreimbursed card reissuance fees;

Unreimbursed overdraft fees;

Unreimbursed charges related to unavailability of funds;

Unreimbursed late fees;

Unreimbursed over-limit fees;

Long distance telephone charges;

Cell minutes (if charged by the minute);

Internet usage charges (if charged by the minute or the amount of data usage); 

Text messages (if charged by the message);

Unreimbursed charges from banks or credit card companies;

Postage and shipping charges;

Interest on payday loans due to card cancellation or due to over-limit situation;

Cost for obtaining credit reports, and payments for obtaining or removing credit freezes and financial account freezes; 

Costs of credit monitoring and identity theft protection (up to $75) purchased and paid for any time from August 1, 2016, through and including September 12, 2020; and

Reimbursement of up to four hours of documented lost time (at $20 per hour) spent dealing with replacement card issues, updating automatic payments associations, contesting fraudulent charges, and otherwise dealing with the Data Security Incidents.

Reasonable documentation must be submitted with your Claim Form showing that either of the Data Security Incidents was a contributing factor to the expense being incurred.  More details are provided in the Settlement Agreement.

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9. What payments are available for Fraudulent and Unauthorized Charges Reimbursement?

Answer:

Settlement Class Members are eligible to receive reimbursement of actual unreimbursed losses due to fraudulent activity or unauthorized charges of up to $3,500 per Settlement Class Member.

Reasonable documentation must be submitted with your Claim Form showing that the charge was more likely than not caused by the Data Security Incidents.  More details are provided in the Settlement Agreement.

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10. Can I submit claims for both types of Expenses?

Answer:

Yes, you can submit claims for both Expense Reimbursement and Fraudulent and Unauthorized Charges Reimbursement.

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11. How do I get benefits?

Answer:

To get payment from the Settlement, you must complete and submit a Claim Form.  Please read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form, provide reasonable documentation, and mail it postmarked no later than September 12, 2020 to:  IHG Data Security Settlement; c/o Settlement Administrator; P.O. Box 8247; Philadelphia, PA 19101-8247.  A Downloadable Claim Form is available in the 'Documents' section of this website, or you may request one by mail by calling 1-833-913-4210. 

You are encouraged to complete and submit your Claim Form and documentation through this website.  You may complete a Claim Form online that must be submitted with uploaded documentation no later than September 12, 2020.

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12. How will claims be decided?

Answer:

The Settlement Administrator will initially decide whether the information provided on a Claim Form is complete and valid.  The Settlement Administrator may require additional information from any claimant.  If the required information is not provided timely, the claim will be considered invalid and will not be paid.

If the claim is complete and the Settlement Administrator denies the claim entirely or partially, the claimant will be provided an opportunity to correct deficiencies identified by the Settlement Administrator. 

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13. Do I need to do anything to remain in the Settlement?

Answer:

You do not have to do anything to remain in the Settlement, but if you want a payment, you must submit a Claim Form no later than September 12, 2020.

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14. What am I giving up as part of the Settlement?

Answer:

If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue IHG for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.  The specific claims you are giving up against IHG are described in Section 1.15, 1.16, 1.23 of the Settlement Agreement.  You will be releasing IHG and all related people or entities as described in Section 6 of the Settlement Agreement.  The Settlement Agreement is available in the 'Documents' section of this website.

The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully.  If you have any questions you can talk to the law firms listed in FAQ 18 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer at your own expense. 

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15. If I exclude myself, can I get a payment from this Settlement?

Answer:

No.  If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to any benefits of the Settlement.  You will also not be bound by any judgment in this case.

If you do not want a payment from this Settlement, but you want to keep the right to sue IHG about issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement Class.  This is called excluding yourself from – or is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of – the Settlement Class.

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16. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue IHG for the same thing later?

Answer:

No.  Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue IHG for the claims that this Settlement resolves.  You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class to start your own lawsuit or to be part of any different lawsuit relating to the claims in this case.  If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for a payment.

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17. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

Answer:

To exclude yourself, send a letter that says you want to be excluded from the Settlement in Orr, et al. v. InterContinental Hotels Group, PLC, et al., Case No. 17-cv-01622-MLB.  Include your name, address, and signature.  You must mail your Exclusion Request postmarked by August 12, 2020 to:  IHG Settlement Exclusions; c/o Settlement Administrator; P.O. Box 8247; Philadelphia, PA 19101-8247.

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18. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

Answer:

Yes.  The Court appointed the following lawyers as Lead Class Counsel: Ben Barnow and Erich P. Schork, Barnow and Associates, P.C., and David J. Worley, Evangelista Worley LLC.  

You will not be charged for these lawyers.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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19. How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

Lead Class Counsel will request the Court’s approval of an award for attorneys’ fees and reasonable costs and expenses of $550,000.  Lead Class Counsel will also request approval of incentive awards of $1,500 for each of the Representative Plaintiffs.  Any amount that the Court awards for attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and incentive awards will be paid separately by IHG and will not reduce the amount of payments to Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims.

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20. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?

Answer:

You can object to the Settlement if you do not like it or some part of it.  The Court will consider your views.  To do so, you must file a written objection in this case, Orr, et al. v. InterContinental Hotels Group, PLC, et al., No 17-cv-01622-MLB, with the Clerk of the Court at the address below.  

Your objection must include all of the following information: 

(1) The objector’s full name, address, and email address (if any); 

(2) Information identifying the objector as a Settlement Class Member, including proof that they are a member of the Settlement Class; 

(3) A written statement of all grounds for the objection, accompanied by any legal support for the objection; 

(4) The identity of all counsel representing the objector; 

(5) The identity of all counsel representing the objector who may appear at the Final Fairness Hearing; 

(6) All other cases in which the objector (directly or through counsel) has filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement, has been a named plaintiff in any class action, or has served as proposed or class counsel, including the case name, court, and docket number for each;

(7) A list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Fairness Hearing in support of the objection;

(8) A list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Fairness Hearing in support of the objection;

(9) A statement confirming whether the objector intends to personally appear or testify at the Final Fairness Hearing; and

(10) The objector’s signature or the signature of the objector’s duly authorized attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation setting forth such representation).

Your objection must be filed no later than August 12, 2020 to:

Clerk of the Court

United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia 

Richard B. Russell Federal Building

2211 United States Courthouse

75 Ted Turner Drive, SW

Atlanta, GA 30303-3309

In addition, you must mail a copy of your objection to Lead Class Counsel and Defense Counsel, postmarked no later than August 12, 2020:

Lead Class Counsel

Erich P. Schork; Barnow and Associates, P.C.; 205 West Randolph Street, Suite 1630; Chicago, IL 60606

and

David J. Worley; Evangelista Worley, LLC; 500 Sugar Mill Road, Building A, Suite 245; Atlanta, GA 30350

and

Defense Counsel

David A. Carney; Baker & Hostetler, LLP; 127 Public Square, Suite 2000; Cleveland, OH 44114. 

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21. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

Answer:

Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like the Settlement and why you do not think it should be approved.  You can object only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.  Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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22. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to grant final approval of the Settlement ("the Final Fairness Hearing") at 10:00 a.m. on September 2, 2020 in Courtroom 1906 at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, United States District Court, 75 Ted Turner Drive, SW, Atlanta, GA.  The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check this website or call 1-833-913-4210 for updates. 

At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  If there are timely objections, the Court will consider them and will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing if such a request has been properly made.  The Court will also rule on the request for an award of attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, as well as the request for incentive awards for the Representative Plaintiffs.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.  We do not know how long these decisions will take.

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23. Do I have to attend the hearing?

Answer:

No.  Lead Class Counsel will present the Settlement Agreement to the Court.  You or your own lawyer are welcome to attend at your expense, but you are not required to do so.  If you send an objection, you do not have to come to the Court to talk about it.  As long as you filed your written objection on time with the Court and mailed it according to the instructions provided in FAQ 20, the Court will consider it.

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24. May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Fairness Hearing.  To do so, you must file an objection according to the instructions in FAQ 20, including all the information required.  

Your Objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Court for United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia no later than August 12, 2020.  In addition, you must mail a copy of your objection to both Lead Class Counsel and Defense Counsel listed in FAQ 20,  postmarked no later than August 12, 2020.

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25. What happens if I do nothing?

Answer:

If you do nothing, you will get no benefits from this Settlement.  Once the Settlement is granted final approval and the judgment becomes final, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against IHG about the legal issues in this case, ever again. 

You must exclude yourself from the Settlement if you want to retain the right to sue IHG for the claims resolved by this Settlement.

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26. How do I get more information?

Answer:

The Notice only provides a summary the proposed Settlement.  Complete details about the Settlement can be found in the Settlement Agreement.  For more information, you may contact the Settlement Administrator:  (1) by calling 1-833-913-4210; (2) through the 'Contact' section of this website; or (3) by writing to: IHG Data Security Settlement; c/o Settlement Administrator; P.O. Box 8247; Philadelphia, PA 19101-8247.

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This website is authorized by the Court, supervised by Lead Class Counsel and controlled by the Settlement Administrator approved by the Court. This is the only authorized website for this case.

For more information please call 1-833-913-4210.

Documents

Please read for a full explanation of the settlement and your options and all applicable timelines.

Contact

Contact us with any inquiries, comments, and/or requests.

Submit Claim

Click here to safely and securely submit a Claim Form.

Important Dates

  • Exclusion Deadline

    Wednesday, August 12, 2020
    You must complete and mail your request for exclusion so that it is postmarked no later than Wednesday, August 12, 2020.  See FAQ 17.
  • Objection Deadline

    Wednesday, August 12, 2020
    You must file your objection(s) with the Court no later than August 12, 2020, and mail a copy to Lead Class Counsel and Defense Counsel so that it is postmarked no later than Wednesday, August 12, 2020.  See FAQ 20.
  • Final Fairness Hearing Date

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020
    The Final Fairness Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.  Please check this website for updates.  See FAQ 22.
  • Claim Form Deadline

    Saturday, September 12, 2020
    You must submit your Claim Form on-line no later than Saturday, September 12, 2020, or mail your completed paper Claim Form so that it is postmarked no later than Saturday, September 12, 2020. See FAQ 11.

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