Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the details of this case?

    The Honorable Catherine Eagles of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina is presiding over this class action. The cases being settled are known as:

    • Alliance Ophthalmology, PLLC v. ECL Group, LLC, Case No. 1:22-CV-00296; and
    • Farley v. Eye Care Leaders Holdings, LLC, Case No. 1:22-CV-00468; Jeanne Byers v. ECL Group LLC, Case No. 22-cv-607; Detrina Solomon v. ECL Group LLC, Case No. 22-cv-526; Forrester v. Eye Care Leaders Holdings LLC, Case No. 22-cv-503; and Sandvig v. Eye Care Leaders Holdings LLC, Case No. 22-cv-502.

    The cases are combined into a single Settlement (also sometimes referred to in the Notice and on this website as the “ECL Litigation”). The persons who filed the lawsuits are together called the “Settlement Classes,” which include the “Patient Settlement Class” and the “Physician Settlement Class.” The companies sued (ECL Group, LLC, ECL Holdings, LLC, Eye Care Leaders Holdings, LLC, Eye Care Leaders Portfolio Holdings, LLC, Integrity EMR, LLC, Integrity Holdings, LLC, Alta Billing, LLC, and Alta Billing Holdings, LLC) are called the “Defendants” or, as defined herein, “ECL.”

    Back To Top
  2. What is the ECL Litigation about?

    The Patient Settlement Class claims that the Data Breach potentially exposed patients’ health information, including their names, birth dates, medical record numbers, health insurance information, Social Security numbers, and medical care information. The Patient Settlement Class alleges, among other things, that Defendants were negligent in the maintenance of data, which resulted in the Data Breach that potentially exposed the Patient Settlement Class’s personal health information and invaded their privacy. The Patient Settlement Class also alleges that ECL concealed the Data Breach from the public, including its customers and their patients. The Patient Settlement Class claims that it incurred damages as a result of Defendants’ actions.

    The Physician Settlement Class claims that ECL concealed the Data Breach for weeks, misrepresented what truly happened, misrepresented when service would be restored (to encourage members of the Physician Settlement Class to not move to new service providers), overcharged them under their contracts, and refused to provide patient data after repeated demands. The Physician Settlement Class also alleges that Defendants breached their contracts, were negligent in the maintenance of data, committed fraud, defamed Physician Plaintiffs, and engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices stemming from the Data Breach, which impacted the Physician Settlement Class’s practices and potentially exposed patient data. The Physician Settlement Class claims that it incurred damages as a result of Defendants’ actions.

    The Patient Settlement Class’s and Physician Settlement Class’s operative complaints are both available on Documents page of this website.

    Defendants deny all claims asserted in the ECL Litigation, deny all allegations of wrongdoing and liability, and deny all other material allegations. By entering into the Settlement, the Defendants are not admitting any wrongdoing.

    Back To Top
  3. Why is the ECL Litigation a class action?

    In a class action, plaintiffs (here, Alliance, DRC, TEC, and Hofacre for the Physician Settlement Class; and Kimberly Farley, Chad Forrester, Kimberly Sandvig, Detrina Solomon, and Jeanne Byers for the Patient Settlement Class) sue on behalf of all people who have similar claims. Together, all these people are called a Settlement Class or Settlement Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members.

    Back To Top
  4. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Settlement Classes and Defendants do not agree about the legal claims asserted in the ECL Litigation. The Court has not decided in favor of the Settlement Classes or the Defendants. Instead, the Settlement Classes and Defendants have agreed to settle the ECL Litigation. The Settlement Classes and their attorneys (“Class Counsel”) believe the Settlement is in the best interests of the members of the Settlement Classes because of the benefits of the Settlement and the risks and uncertainty associated with continued litigation.

    Back To Top
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    You are included in the Settlement if you fall within the following definitions:

    The “Patient Settlement Class” means all individuals residing in the United States whose Personally Identifiable Information or Protected Health Information was compromised in the Data Breach affecting one or more Defendants, including all persons who received notice about the Data Breach.

    The “Physician Settlement Class” includes the iMedicWare Class, myCare Integrity Class, MVE Class, and Revenue Cycle Management Class. They are each described as follows:

    1. “iMedicWare Class” means all persons and entities who contracted with one or more Defendants for EMR management services using the iMedicWare software, and who have suffered Outages for any period of time since January 1, 2019, due to ransomware attacks or any other reasons.
    2. “myCare Integrity Class” means all persons and entities who contracted with one or more Defendants—and received services from Integrity EMR, LLC and Integrity Holdings, LLC—for EMR management services using the myCare Integrity software, and who have suffered Outages for any period of time since January 1, 2019, due to ransomware attacks or any other reasons.
    3. “MVE Class” means all persons and entities who contracted with one or more Defendants for EMR management services using the MyVisionExpress software, and who have suffered Outages for any period of time since January 1, 2019, due to ransomware attacks or any other reasons.
    4. “Revenue Cycle Management Class” means all persons and entities who contracted with one or more Defendants—and received services from Alta Billing, LLC and Alta Billing Holdings, LLC—for revenue cycle management services who have received delinquent revenue cycle services for any period of time since January 1, 2019 and/or whose transaction information was potentially compromised from ransomware attacks or any other reasons.
    Back To Top
  6. What if I am still not sure if I am part of the Settlement?

    If you are still not sure whether you are a member of the Settlement Classes, you may call the Settlement Administrator’s toll-free telephone number at 1-877-328-5803. You may also contact Class Counsel listed in FAQ 17 below.

    Back To Top
  7. What does the Settlement provide?

    If final approval of the settlement is granted, two settlement funds will be created, both funded by the Defendants’ insurance policies.

    Patient Settlement Class - A “Patient Settlement Fund” of at least $2,616,783 will be funded. Members of the Patient Settlement Class will be able to file claims for documented out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the Data Breach up to $5,000. Members of the Patient Settlement Class may also file a Claim for a pro rata (equal share) cash payment, with the amount to be paid depending on the number of Valid Claims received.

    Physician Settlement – Patient Class Members have agreed to release any potential claims against members of the Physician Settlement Class related to the Data Breach.

    A “Physician Settlement Fund” of at least $1,460,449.50 will also be funded and, after deducting costs of the settlement administrator and attorneys’ fees approved by the court, distributed evenly to valid claimants of the Physician Settlement Class. Defendants will deposit any additional funds that become available through insurance coverage into the Physician Settlement Fund, up to $9,500,000, inclusive of the initial payments.

    In addition to the Settlement Funds, Defendants will provide billing credits with a total potential value of $5,739,500 to eligible members of the Physician Settlement Class, as described in the next section.

    Along with these benefits, Defendants have agreed to not collect, and cease all collection efforts related to, any unpaid invoice for a month in which there was a service outage as alleged in the Physician Settlement Class’s Second Amended Complaint.

    Moreover, as a result of the settlement, members of the Physician Settlement Class may terminate their contracts with Defendants without penalty and Defendants shall help provide them with data and provide reasonable efforts to assist with transition to a new provider.

    Back To Top
  8. How do the billing credits for the Physician Settlement Class work?

    Billing credits are available as follows:

    myCare Integrity Class: Defendants will provide a $3,500 credit for each member of the myCare Integrity Class who 1) did not previously receive a credit of equal or greater value, and 2) held a full-time physician license with Defendants at any point in April and May 2023. Defendants will further provide a $1,750 credit to each member of the myCare Integrity class who 1) did not previously receive a credit of equal or greater value, and 2) held a part-time physician license with Defendants at any point in April and May 2023. The amount of credit owed to each member will be offset, dollar-for-dollar, by any credits that have already been provided in connection with the Data Breach. The potential value of these credits is $3,006,500. Defendants will provide these credits to each Claimant within one year of the date the Settlement Administrator determines that it has a Valid Claim.

    iMedicWare Class: Defendants will provide a $1,000 credit for each member of the iMedicWare Class who 1) did not previously receive a credit of equal or greater value, and 2) held a full-time physician license with Defendants at any point in April and May 2023. Defendants will further provide a $500 credit to each member of the iMedicWare class who 1) did not previously receive a credit of equal or greater value, and 2) held a part-time physician license with Defendants at any point in April and May 2023. The amount of credit owed to each member will be offset, dollar-for-dollar, by any credits that have already been provided in connection with the Data Breach. The potential value of these credits is $1,714,500. Defendants will provide these credits to each Claimant within one year of the date the Settlement Administrator determines that it has a Valid Claim.

    MyVisionExpress Class: Defendants will provide a $350 credit for each member of the MyVisionExpress Class who 1) did not previously receive a credit of equal or greater value, and 2) held a full-time physician license with Defendants at any point in April and May 2023. Defendants will further provide a $175 credit to each member of the MyVisionExpress class who 1) did not previously receive a credit of equal or greater value, and 2) held a part-time physician license with Defendants at any point in April and May 2023, at an amount proportional to that of the full-time physician licensees. The amount of credit owed to each member will be offset, dollar-for-dollar, by any credits that have already been provided in connection with the Data Breach. The potential value of these credits is $1,018,500. Defendants will provide these credits to each Claimant within one year of the date the Settlement Administrator determines that it has a Valid Claim.

    The billing credits are not available if:

    • you are a Patient Class Member;
    • you are exclusively a member of the Revenue Cycle Management Class;
    • your contract(s) with one of the Defendants was terminated before April 2023; or
    • Defendants have already provided you a billing credit in an amount that exceeds the amount of the available credit under the Settlement, as described above.
    Back To Top
  9. How will payments to Claimants be determined?

    Valid Claims will be paid as follows:

    Patient Settlement Class. At the conclusion of the claims period, the Patient Settlement Fund (after deducting its share of Administration Expenses, Class Service Awards, and Attorneys’ Fees) shall be paid to members of the Patient Settlement Class who submit a Valid Claim for out-of-pocket expenses up to $5,000 with the remainder divided equally between all valid claimants of the Patient Settlement Class. The Claims Administrator will make the final determination about the validity of any claim.

    Physician Settlement Class. At the conclusion of the Claims Period, the Physician Settlement Fund (after deducting its share of Administration Expenses, Class Service Awards, and Attorneys’ Fees) will be divided equally between all valid claimants of the Physician Settlement Class. The Claims Administrator will make the final determination about the validity of any claim.

    Back To Top
  10. What are the released Claims?

    In short, (1) members of the Patient Settlement Class release any potential claim against Defendants or members of the Physician Settlement Class related to the Data Breach, and (2) members of the Physician Settlement Class release any potential claim against Defendants related to the Data Breach. The Patient Settlement Class and Physician Settlement Class do not release any claims unrelated to the Data Breach or ECL Litigation.

    The Settlement Agreement in Sections 2.30, 2.31, 2.32, and 7.1-7.6 describes the Release, Released Claims, and Released Parties in necessary legal terminology, so please read these sections carefully. The Settlement Agreement is available here on this website or in the public Court records on file in the ECL Litigation. For questions regarding the Releases or Released Class Claims and what the language in the Settlement Agreement means, you can also contact one of the lawyers listed in Question 17 of the Notice (and FAQ 17 below) for free, or you can talk to your own lawyer at your own expense.

    Back To Top
  11. How do I make a claim for a settlement benefit?

    Every member of the Settlement Classes has the right to submit a Claim for a Settlement Benefit.

    Patient Settlement Class – Members must file a timely and valid Claim for out-of-pocket reimbursement or a Cash Payment.

    Physician Settlement Class – Members must file a timely and valid Claim Form for a billing Credit or a Cash Payment.

    Your Claim Form must be filed with the Settlement Administrator, postmarked or Submitted online on or before 11:59 pm on July 24, 2024. Claim Forms may be submitted online through this website or printed from this website, here, and mailed to the Settlement Administrator at the address on the Claim Form. The quickest way to submit a Claim Form is online. Claim Forms are also available by calling 1-877-328-5803 or by writing to:

    ECL Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 2630
    Portland, OR 97208-2630

    No claims may be submitted as a group, aggregate, or on behalf of a class of persons. However, members of the Physician Settlement Class who are in the same practice with multiple licensees may submit a claim as a group since the credits will be applied on a per-license basis, while the distribution from the settlement fund will be on a per-practice basis.

    Back To Top
  12. What happens if my contact information changes after I submit a claim?

    If you change your mailing address or email address after you submit a Claim Form, it is your responsibility to inform the Settlement Administrator of your updated information. You may notify the Settlement Administrator of any changes through this website, here, or by email to Address-Update@ECLSettlement.com.

    Back To Top
  13. When will I receive a settlement benefit?

    If you file a timely and valid Claim Form for a Cash Payment, payment will be provided by the Settlement Administrator after the Settlement is approved by the Court and becomes final. If you are a member of the Physician Settlement Class and file a Claim for a billing credit, Defendants will provide these credits to each Claimant within one year of the Settlement Administrator determining that the claim is valid.

    It may take time for the Settlement to be approved and become final. Please be patient and check this site for updates.

    Back To Top
  14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    Yes, the Court has appointed Russ Ferguson, Matthew Tilley, and Patrick Spaugh of Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP as counsel for the Physician Settlement Class (“Physician Class Counsel”). The Court has appointed Gary M. Klinger of Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC, Jean S. Martin of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group and Gary E. Mason of Mason LLP as counsel for the Patient Settlement Class (“Patient Class Counsel”). The Physician Class Counsel and Patient Class Counsel (together, “Class Counsel”) represent you and the Settlement Classes for the purposes of this Settlement. You may hire your own lawyer at your own cost and expense if you want someone other than Class Counsel to represent you in the ECL Litigation.

    Back To Top
  15. How will Class Counsel be paid?

    Physician Class Counsel will submit to the Court an application seeking a Fee Award of no more than 33% of the Physician Settlement Fund, to which Defendants will not object, and Patient Class Counsel will submit to the Court an application seeking a Fee Award of no more than 33% of the Patient Settlement Fund, to which Defendants will not object.

    Class Counsel will also request that the Court approve “Class Service Awards,” which are Court-approved awards to specific members of the Settlement Classes, including the named plaintiffs, for their efforts in bringing the claims at issue in the ECL Litigation and achieving the benefits of this Settlement on behalf of the Settlement Classes. For the Physician Settlement Class, the requested service awards are $40,000 each to Alliance, DRC, and TEC, $20,000 to Hofacre, and $10,000 each to Shulkin Eye Associates, Gorden Eye Associates PA, Regional Eye Associates, Inc., Eye Associates, LLC, and SurgiCenter of Vineland Holdings, LLC, payable from the Physician Class Settlement Fund. For the Patient Settlement Class, the requested service award is $1,000 each to Plaintiffs Kimberly Farley, Chad Forrester, Kimberly Sandvig, Detrina Solomon, and Jeanne Byers.

    If awarded by the Court, attorneys’ fees and costs and expenses, and the Service Award will be paid out of the respective Settlement Funds. The Court may award less than these amounts.

    Back To Top
  16. Can I request to get out of the Settlement Class?

    No. Because insurance proceeds are Defendants’ only assets available to satisfy the claims of all the members of the Settlement Classes and the alleged damages exceed the available insurance proceeds, the Court certified the Settlement Classes under Rule 23(b)(1)(B). That rule allows for certification of a class when there is a limited fund available to satisfy all claims. As a result, under Rule 23(b)(1)(B), class members cannot “opt out” or request exclusion from the Settlement Classes because doing so would jeopardize the fair and equitable distribution of the limited fund available.

    Practically, this means that the Settlement and the Release of claims applies to everyone who is a member of the Settlement Classes, and you cannot request to be excluded to maintain your right to file a lawsuit or bring action against Defendants for claims related to the Data Breach. You can, object to the Settlement if you choose to do so (see FAQ 17 below).

    Back To Top
  17. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?

    If you are a Class Member you could have (on your own or through an attorney hired at your expense) objected to the terms of the Settlement. The deadline to object to the Settlement was January 15, 2024.

    Back To Top
  18. When and where will the Court decide the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on June 24, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. EST, before the Honorable Catherine Eagles, at the L. Richardson Preyer Courthouse for the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, located at 324 W. Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27401-2544.

    At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and decide whether to approve the Settlement, Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs and expenses, and the Service Awards. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court may also allow objectors to speak at the hearing.

    Note: The date and time of the Final Approval Hearing are subject to change. The Court may also decide to hold the hearing via Zoom or by phone. Any change will be posted on this site.

    Back To Top
  19. Do I have to attend the Final Approval Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to speak about it. As long as you file or mail your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.

    Back To Top
  20. May I speak at the Final Approval Hearing?

    Yes, if approved by the Court. If you submitted a proper and timely written objection to the Settlement, you or your lawyer acting on your behalf may request to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, your objection must specify that you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing. The Court will determine who, if anyone, is allowed to speak at the Final Approval Hearing based upon these requests. For more information, please review the procedures set out in FAQ 17.

    Back To Top
  21. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you are a member of the Patient Settlement Class and you do nothing, you will not receive a settlement benefit.

    If you are a member of the Physician Settlement Class and you do nothing, you will receive the benefit of the release by the Patient Settlement Class, the cessation of collection efforts by Defendants as outlined above, and the ability to terminate contracts with Defendants without any penalty and to receive assistance in transitioning to a new vendor.

    Whether you do anything or not, the Settlement still will resolve all of the allegations in the Complaints and release all claims you may have against the Released Persons (including the Defendants) regarding the Released Class Claims in the ECL Litigation.

    Back To Top
  22. How do I get more information?

    This website summarizes the Settlement. Complete details are provided in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement and other related documents are available on this site here or by calling 1-877-328-5803 or by writing to:

    ECL Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 2630
    Portland, OR 97208-2630

    PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT’S CLERK OFFICE REGARDING THIS SETTLEMENT.

    Back To Top