$85M Settlement Receives Final Approval Over Objections in ‘Zoombombing’ Class Action

On Thursday, a Northern District of California magistrate judge finalized a Zoom Video Communications Inc. settlement that provided both monetary and injunctive relief to a class of approximately 150 million people, though only 27,500 submitted claims. The court found the settlement, including the fees, costs, and service payments, fair, reasonable, and adequate after holding a fairness hearing the same day.

The consumer privacy class action involves allegations that Zoom improperly shared users’ data through third-party software, claimed to have end-to-end encryption when it did not, and failed to prevent “Zoombombing,” the disruption of Zoom meetings by uninvited third-parties.

After some claims survived Zoom’s dismissal bid, the parties reportedly engaged in extensive discovery, including written discovery and the issuance of subpoenas to third parties, then mediated and settled the case. Several objectors wrote to the court between preliminary approval and the plaintiffs’ motion for final approval, contesting the settlement for various reasons.

Judge Laurel Beeler commented that “[o]f the nine objections, some objectors lack standing to object or submitted untimely objections, and the others put forward unavailing arguments.” As previously reported, one objector wrote to the court arguing that “individual payment amounts are inadequate for people like her who held sensitive Zoom meetings and were victimized by Zoombombing.” 

In her order, Judge Beeler said that the recovery “is for Zoom users not receiving the benefit of their bargain with Zoom, not for distress caused by Zoombombing or special harm arising from a duty to maintain client confidentiality.” The court further noted that it explicitly dismissed the plaintiffs’ negligence cause of action, as relevant to emotional distress caused by Zoombombing.

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP and Ahdoot & Wolfson, PC are co-lead counsel for the settlement class. Zoom is represented by Cooley LLP.