Sony has agreed to a US$15 million (A$15.9 million) preliminary settlement in hopes of quashing even heftier costs associated with its massive PlayStation Network hack three years ago.
The 2011 hack exposed the personal information of roughly 77 million users registered with PlayStation Network and Qriocity.
The electronics giant today released an official statement on the settlement in response to media reports.
The Sony spokesperson said that the settlement was still “subject to final approval by the court,” but that the company had reached the agreement to “avoid the costs associated with lengthy litigation" with class-action plaintiffs.
The lawsuits stem from an April 2011 incident, where hackers compromised Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN), its on-demand service Qriocity and gaming portal Sony Online Entertainment, exposing the personal data of roughly 77 million users.
According to court documents, up to US$4 million has been set aside for claimants who participated in Sony's “Welcome Back” package, a free game promotion set up right after the PSN breach.
On a “first-come, first-served basis,” impacted customers can claim additional games and services offered through Sony, court documents said. Users who did not participate in the 2011 “Welcome Back” promotion can also take advantage of similar free offerings, which have been capped at US$6 million in claims.
Court documents also revealed that up to US$1 million was set aside for identity theft reimbursements as a result of the breach, and that Sony would pay up to US$2.75 million in attorney's fees (in addition to the US$15 million set aside for the settlement).
The settlement agreement comes five months after Zurich, Sony's insurer, was deemed not liable for lawsuit costs associated with the 2011 breach.
Zurich America and Sony had been embroiled in an ongoing lawsuit for years, as the insurer sought immunity from covering Sony. In February, a New York trial court judge ruled that Zurich was not responsible to come to Sony's aid for more than 50 class-action complaints filed against the company.
In the case, Zurich argued that Sony's policy only covered claims for bodily injury, property damage or personal and advertising injury.