Sony employees’ hacking suit settlement gets preliminary OK

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LOS ANGELES | A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement of up to $8 million between Sony Pictures Entertainment and current and former employees related to the hack of the company’s computers last year.

FILE - This Dec. 19, 2014 file photo shows an exterior view of the Sony Pictures Plaza building in Culver City, Calif. More than six weeks after hackers attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment, its computer network is still down but the studio has not lost a single day of production on any of its films or television, CEO Michael Lynton told The Associated Press on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. In a wide-ranging interview Lynton talked about the company’s isolation and the uncertainty that was created by the pre-Thanksgiving attack, which the U.S. government has attributed to North Korea.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner provided the preliminary approval Friday and scheduled a final approval hearing for March.

Under the deal, Sony agreed to reimburse employees up to $10,000 apiece for identity-theft losses, to cover the cost of credit-fraud protection services and to pay for plaintiffs’ legal fees.

Hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace broke into company computers and released thousands of emails, documents, Social Security numbers and other personal information in an attempt to derail the release of the North Korean-focused comedy “The Interview.” The U.S. government blamed North Korea for the attack.