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Judge OKs $11.2m settlement for hacked Ashley Madison users

Staff Writer |
A federal judge approved an $11.2 million settlement between the marital infidelity website Ashley Madison and users who sued after hackers released personal information, including financial data and details of their sexual proclivities.

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U.S. District Judge John Ross in St. Louis gave preliminary approval to a class action settlement that was initially announced last week by Toronto-based Ruby Corp., the parent company of Ashley Madison.

Lawsuits from around the country were consolidated in the Eastern District of Missouri.

A final approval hearing is scheduled for November 20.

Douglas Dowd, an attorney representing users of the website, said the settlement is "fair and reasonable" for both sides. Robert Atkins, the lead attorney for Ruby Corp., declined comment after the hearing.

The lawsuits were filed after hackers outed millions of people who used the website two years ago. The suits said Ashley Madison misled consumers about its security measures and safeguards.

The company denied wrongdoing but said in a statement that it settled to "avoid the uncertainty, expense, and inconvenience associated with continued litigation."

Ashley Madison is marketed to people seeking extramarital relationships. Its slogan is, "Life is short. Have an affair."

At one time, it purported to have about 39 million members.

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