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The Seventh Circuit Weighs In On Standing

Yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit weighed in on the consumer class action standing issue.  The court found that Barnes & Noble customers have standing to pursue a class action concerning the hacking of the retailer’s PIN pads.  In doing so, the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court ruling dismissing the complaint for failure to adequately plead damages.  The Court of Appeals determined that the time value of money which had been removed from plaintiffs’ accounts (even though it was ultimately returned), the costs of credit monitoring, and the time invested to create new accounts all were sufficient to provide standing.

To recap, in February the United States Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari in Attias v. CareFirst.  Last month, the Eighth Circuit found that allegations of future identity theft were not enough to create standing, while the Ninth Circuit reached the opposite conclusion.

While the standing issues are interesting from a lawyer’s perspective, the most interesting thing to come out of the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuit Decisions from a business perspective would seem to be that each involved the reversal of the lower court’s ruling.  This is interesting because it reflects the incredible cost of becoming embroiled in a class action suit.

The lesson, as always, is to take care of your information.

© Copyright 2019 Murtha Cullina


About this Author

Michael J. Donnelly, attorney, Murtha Cullina, Connecticut

Michael Donnelly represents both public and private parties in connection with drafting of contracts, bid issues and dispute resolution in a wide variety of construction matters. He recently assisted a successful bidder in defending a challenge to a public bid for the purchase of municipal property, ultimately obtaining a written apology and a six-figure settlement on a vexatious litigation claim arising from the challenge. Michael has represented the owner with respect to contract negotiations for the construction of a 14.6 MW gas powered generator project. His dispute...