Many biometric class action lawsuits could depend on Illinois Supreme Court harm ruling

Many biometric class action lawsuits could depend on Illinois Supreme Court harm ruling

There are approximately 100 class actions alleging violations under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) that could be significantly affected by an upcoming ruling on the standard for plaintiffs to qualify as “aggrieved,” Law360 reports.

The state’s Second District appeals court previously ruled in another BIPA case, Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., that the violation of technical requirements was insufficient to establish injury, and dismissed the case. Other courts have decided both for and against procedural violations constituting injury. The Rosenbach decision has been appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments in the case on November 20.

The Illinois Appellate Court’s First District recently ruled in Klaudia Sekura v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan Inc. that noncompliance with BIPA’s procedural requirements is sufficient cause of action for a plaintiff, even without any allegation of further injury. The case had previously been dismissed by a lower court, but the appeals judge wrote that a procedural violation constitutes harm, and in the case of Sekura the additional procedural violation of uninformed disclosure of biometric data also distinguished it from Rosenbach.

If the determination of the appeals court in Sekura is accepted by the state Supreme Court, then numerous BIPA cases, including the one against Facebook, would be strengthened. If the Illinois Supreme Court reverses the appellate court’s decision, and raises the requirements for injury, many cases would lack the standing to continue.

Law360 reports that the Sekura decision is expected to be promptly appealed, and that in the meanwhile courts can expect the pace of BIPA filings to accelerate further.

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