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If you got something in the mail about a 'cookie settlement' and thought it was a scam, it isn't

Cookie settlement

Kelly Griffin got one of the letters.

Patients at Mass. General and Brigham and Women's and their community hospitals and physician groups as well as patients at Mass. Eye and Ear and Dana-Farber are eligible to share in an $18.4-million class-action settlement of a claim involving information the health-care providers' Web site may have shared with Facebook and Google - but they have to sign up by Dec. 15.

The hospitals agreed, without admitting any guilt, to pay the money to make the Suffolk Superior Court suit go away. Eligible patients, who were treated at the hospitals or their suburban facilities between May 23, 2016, and July 31, 2021, were mailed claim forms with ID numbers on them, but the forms referred to a "cookie settlement," which might mean nothing to anybody who was not directly involved in the suit.

At issue were various tracking codes placed on the Web sites through which patients could make appointments or get information about procedures. In a lawsuit, two anonymous patients claimed the code could be used to capture information about visitors to the Web sites and even what they typed in online forms for distribution to the third parties.

More background on the case | Submit a claim (Notice ID and confirmation number required).

Original court complaint (2.6M PDF).

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Comments

I hate these money grabs. Sure, the defendant did something wrong but basically all the "victims" get is a few pennies, the defendant (who actually does a lot of good) takes a huge financial hit they have to make up elsewhere, and a few attorneys get rich. Oh, and all the "victims" lose the right to sue. Basically a big shakedown that transfers lots of money from a healthcare organization into the hands of attorneys.

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Voting closed 45

Any class action lawsuit really.

I've been apart of so many of these where I get checks for 35 cents. Its like... it COST MORE to print & mail the damn check than it was worth. Why bother.

The only people who win at these lawsuits are the lawyers.. no one else.

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Voting closed 34

In the last few years I've spent five minutes registering for a couple, then forgetting about it until I got a check for seventy-odd dollars months or more later. There have been a couple of others that were lower amounts, but the return on investment has been pretty good given the effort I had to put in.

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In Europe, the government would impose penalties/fines for corporations that broke the law. In the US, the government is passive and it is up to the consumer class to bring litigation to the courts to enforce commerce laws.

For example, if I sell tblade's Vanilla Ice Cream, but it doesn't contain vanilla and it tastes like my gym socks, the FDA/government isn't going to do jack. It takes someone buying my product, realizing it's bogus, then bringing a class action suit to penalize me financially.

You're not wrong for recognizing the system sucks; but the anger towards the plaintiffs is misguided. It's the system that favors the corporations that holds the scumbaggary.

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Voting closed 60

I agree it seems like a "money grab" but its also true that class action suits may be the only way to hold corporations accountable (as they seem to have a strangle hold on the regulators). Let Dewey, Cheatham and Howe assemble classes and sue, if they get their 1/3rd good for them, I will gladly cash my $1.28 check every time.

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Voting closed 12

Malefactor takes a financial penalty (in this case a tiny slap on the wrist for a minor infraction), and it didn’t cost the taxpayers a penny to investigate and prosecute. Win all around.

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though I did recently receive my part of the settlement as part of the class in Edwards v. National Milk Producers (Bought Milk). Before that, I made sure that I received my piece of the pie in Hendricks v. Starkist Co.

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Voting closed 8

The pivotal fact of the case being that Starkist isn't actually made of sea chickens?

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So this isnt about cookies? and/or I won't get one if I apply?

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Voting closed 15

n/t

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No, no cookies directly. But with the new found fortune (up to $100 from what I’ve been able to dig up about this) you’ll likely be able to afford some cookies. Nothing else really, but some high quality cookies for sure. Choc chip + marshmallow??

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"ME HAVE TO SAY THAT ME GET LOTS OF MAIL ABOUT COOKIES THAT IS FAKE. ME NOT SURE THAT ANYBODY SHOULD BELIEVE PROMISE OF COOKIE SETTLEMENT. ME BEEN BURNED ON THAT BEFORE."

-C. Monster

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Voting closed 34

That's good enough for me

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I thought it was a scam and threw mine away. I just couldn't understand who was being sued and why.

Anyhow, I didn't qualify as I use Beth Israel/Deaconess for my healthcare needs so at least I've got that.

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Voting closed 10

for a snickerdoodle.

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… another Xmas cookie for my health!!!!

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My wife got that mailing and we signed her up on the website. I'm sure if she visited a Partners website, then I did too. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to sign me up for the payout unless you got the postcard.

I also agree with the earlier comment that only the lawyers win in this kind of case.

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Voting closed 8

of "MA Cookie Settlement" and the address for Arch Street and suddenly thought it had something to do with Archway cookies, and was immediately thinking how good the data collection must be that the supermarket could reconcile my supermarket purchases with my credit card data.

Then I opened the card and read what it was actually about.

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Voting closed 11