Remember back in February when the Lower Merion School District had been accused of privacy invasion when they activated webcams on laptops issued to students. Shortly after the accusations the school had responded and said that the feature was installed as an anti-theft device and would only be activated if the laptop was stolen. Recently there was also an announcement that there would be no criminal charges filed against anyone involved in the incident.
Today LMSD has announced that they have finally reached a settlement with the plaintiffs and will pay out a total of $610,000 total to the effected students. The settlement covers as follows;
A major impetus behind settling this matter now is the recent agreement by our insurance carrier, Graphic Arts, to cover more than $1.2M of the fees and costs associated with this litigation to date. The proposed settlement costs include $175,000 to be placed in a trust for Blake Robbins, $10,000 for Jalil Hassan and $425,000 for plaintiff’s counsel. This settlement is not under seal because as a public entity, we have a responsibility to report all terms of the agreement.
The school had also made a statement that they have also tried to protect the school and students by resolving this matter as soon as possible:
We believe this settlement enables us to move forward in a way that is most sensitive to our students, taxpayers and the entire school district community. The agreement is comprehensive, and effectively resolves all components of the laptop litigation, including the Robbins and Hasan cases and the Graphic Arts insurance case. It is the product of a lengthy, court-ordered mediation involving the active participation of Judge DuBois and Chief Magistrate Judge Reuter. The terms of the agreement have been thoroughly reviewed in a number of executive sessions over the past few weeks. Throughout the entire process, the Board has aggressively sought to protect the interests of our taxpayers.
We are pleased that these legal issues will be resolved and that our District can continue the process of moving forward. Our school community has always been one of the most respected and admired in the country. The lessons learned from this experience will ensure that we emerge stronger than ever.