Lawyers take lion’s share of students’ webcam spying lawsuit money

Lawyers for the two students, Blake Robbins and Jalil Hasan. who both attended Harriton High School in the Lower Merion School District, filed invasion of privacy lawsuits in February, accusing school administrators of spying on the students using webcams on school-issued MacBooks. A total of 2300 MacBooks were issued to students, according to a report by

The lawyers acquired evidence that the district had secretly taken thousands of webcam images of the students, including pictures of them at home, in bed, and even “partially dressed”. The lawyers received $425,000 of the settlement money, where as the students only received $185,000.

In a statement, the Lower Merion Board of School Directors said: “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.”

In response to the initial lawsuits, federal prosecutors and the FBI opened an investigation into the incidents. In August, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said that it would not prosecute school administrators.

“For the government to prosecute a criminal case, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged acted with criminal intent. We have not found evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent. I understand that the civil litigation continues. I chose to make this announcement before the beginning of the school year to close at least one part of this matter”, US Attorney Zane David Memeger said in the statement.

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