If you are a former or current Morgan Stanley client who was sent a data breach notice letter in July 2020 and/or June 2021 notifying you that your Personal Information may have been compromised in Data Security Incidents, you may be eligible for benefits from this class action Settlement.

A Settlement has been reached with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley” or “Defendant”) in a class action lawsuit regarding the decommissioning or retiring of information technology (“IT”) equipment that contained client data that occurred in 2016 and 2019 (“the Data Security Incidents”). Morgan Stanley issued notices to customers regarding the Data Security Incidents in July 2020 and/or June 2021. The Settlement, if approved, would create a fund of $60 million, which will be used to provide substantial benefits to Settlement Class Members including at least 24-months of fraud insurance coverage, reimbursement to the members of the Settlement Class who file a valid claim for out-of-pocket losses and lost time researching and remedying the effects of the Data Security Incidents, as well as to pay Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and a service award for each of the named Plaintiffs.

In addition, Morgan Stanley will hire a third party to work for a period of 12 months to attempt to locate and retrieve additional IT devices which have been sold to third parties. Morgan Stanley will also separately pay reasonable costs of notice and administration of the Settlement.

The lawsuit asserts claims against Morgan Stanley relating to the Data Security Incidents. Plaintiffs allege that in 2016 and 2019, Morgan Stanley failed to properly dispose of certain IT assets and that, as a result, unauthorized third parties may have gained access to Morgan Stanley’s clients’ private information, including, but not limited to, names, work and home addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, income, asset value, asset holding information, passport information, telephone numbers, dates of birth and other personal information (collectively, “PII”). Some of these devices that may contain customer PII were sold on the internet and/or remain unaccounted for.

Morgan Stanley denies all the claims, denies any liability whatsoever, and believes that no member of the Settlement Class, including Plaintiffs, has sustained any damages or injuries due to the Data Security Incidents.

The Settlement Class includes all individuals with existing or closed Morgan Stanley accounts established in the United States who received the notice letters sent by Morgan Stanley regarding the Data Security Incidents in July 2020 and/or June 2021. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you should have received a Settlement notice from the Settlement Administrator in the mail or by email. That Notice includes a unique code for you to verify your identity to receive certain Settlement benefits. If for some reason you have not received a unique code, but believe you are a Settlement Class Member, please call 1-855-604-1744 (Toll-Free) to verify your identity and receive further information.


Your Legal Rights and Options in This Settlement
Submit a Claim Form
Postmarked by August 11, 2022
This is the only way to receive a monetary payment for losses suffered as a result of the Data Security Incidents. You can file a claim by filing online here, downloading a copy of the Claim Form from the Documents page and mailing it in, or you may call 1-855-604-1744 (Toll-Free) and ask that a Claim Form be mailed to you. For detailed information on how to submit a Claim Form, see FAQ 9.
Ask to be Excluded from the Settlement
Postmarked by July 12, 2022
You will not receive a payment or any other Settlement benefits, but you will retain the right to bring your own action against Morgan Stanley related to the Data Security Incidents. This is the only option that allows you to bring a separate action against Morgan Stanley related to the Data Security Incidents. For detailed information on how to exclude yourself from the Settlement, see FAQ 15.
Object to the Settlement
Postmarked by July 12, 2022
You may write to the Court about why you do not like the Settlement. You may also write the Court about why you support the Settlement. For detailed information on how to object to or comment on the Settlement, see FAQ 18.
Go to the Final Approval Hearing
August 5, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. ET
You may ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlement. Any objectors who wish to speak at the hearing shall notify the Court by July 22, 2022, by sending an email to EngelmayerNYSDChambers@nysd.uscourts.gov.
Do Nothing If you do nothing, you will not get a monetary payment from this Settlement. If the Court grants final approval, you will be entitled to enroll in Aura’s Financial Shield Services for a period of at least 24 months from the Effective Date of the Settlement, which will provide broad fraud insurance coverage. You will give up rights to submit a claim in this Settlement or to bring a separate action against Morgan Stanley related to the Data Security Incidents.

These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained further on the Frequently Asked Questions page of this website.