CHICAGO (CBS) — Amy Keller, one of the attorneys responsible for a $700 million settlement agreement with Equifax over the credit bureau’s massive data breach in 2017, made history as the youngest woman ever to lead a nationwide multi-district class action lawsuit.
Keller said she never imagined this is where she would be at age 36.
“No, not at all,” she said.
The Chicago-based attorney is both modest and proud about her role in the Equifax settlement. Alongside three men decades her senior, she launched a lawsuit on behalf of 147 million Americans whose private information was leaked in 2017 when hackers breached Equifax.
Keller said she filed a lawsuit against Equifax the night the breach was announced.
“This involved really taking a deep dive into what documents the company produced, working with our experts to also get a really solid understanding of how the breach occurred, and what could be done to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” she said.
Consumers can check online to find out if their data was stolen. If so, they can file a claim on the Equifax website to receive either free credit monitoring for up to 10 years or a cash payout from Equifax if they already have credit monitoring.
Keller led the push to make the website mobile friendly.
“Even though we acknowledge my age quite frequently and we have a good laugh about it, all of my input is the same as theirs, my standing is the same as theirs, and I can handle anything that they would handle,” she said.
That has meant countless emails, phone calls and travel back and forth to a courtroom in Atlanta.
Keller laughed when asked what the last two years have been like for her.
“I have other cases, too. So juggling those cases and making sure that I attend to this case and give it adequate time, it has taken up a very substantial part of my life,” she said.
She also defended a stipulation in the settlement that the attorneys who sued Equifax could charge up to $77.5 million in fees and be reimbursed as much as $3 million more.
“We have to respond to everything they throw at us. If they don’t, then we’ll lose. So the attorney time is actually quite substantial,” she said.
Keller said the job is nowhere near done. She and her team now need to sort through more than 1 million claims already filed and more to come in. They’ll also have to make sure Equifax holds up its side of the deal once the settlement is finalized.
Meantime, Keller recently was named head counsel in a lawsuit against Marriott in connection to a data breach that exposed the personal information of up to 500 million people worldwide.