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Insurer claims policy excludes Illinois biometrics lawsuit

Insurer claims policy excludes Illinois biometrics lawsuit

An insurance company has asked an Illinois state judge to declare it not responsible for covering a grocery store chain accused of violating state biometrics laws, saying the commercial general liability policy held by Caputo’s New Farm Produce Inc. includes exemptions for BIPA claims, Law360 reports.

The suit under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is, like most BIPA suits, based on alleged violations of the notification and consent terms of the Act. A case currently being heard by the Illinois Supreme Court could clarify the harm requirements of the statute, which have been dealt with differently in separate cases.

An employee of Caputo filed a proposed class action against the company in September, alleging the fingerprint time and attendance system it uses was implemented without disclosing the legally required information, and also that it has improperly shared biometric data with at least one third-party vendor.

Westfield Insurance Co., an Ohio-based insurer, says it is not liable for any damages, because while the policy Caputo holds with it covers all “personal and advertising injury,” it excludes injuries related to “any access to or disclosure of a person’s or organization’s confidential or personal information.” The policy also includes exemptions for knowing rights violations by the policy-holder, and for defending injuries from employment practices. Westfield claims that the complainant is not alleging an injury, as defined in the policy, and that even if the court disagrees, the exclusions apply.

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