Attorneys fight over control of biometric data privacy lawsuit against Clearview
A former association of Illinois law firm Loevy & Loevy is accused of attempting to steal the firm’s clients just as it attempts to negotiate a settlement with Clearview AI over alleged biometric data privacy violations, Reuters reports.
The law firm has filed a motion asking Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman to confirm that it, and not Drury Legal, is class counsel in the lawsuit.
Drury Legal was founded by former Loevy & Loevy associate Scott Drury, who is also a former state representative. He is accused by his former firm of holding a secret meeting with an attorney for Clearview this past July, before he left Loevy & Loevy, to discuss a settlement. He then quit the firm to found his own in September, and demanded his former firm withdraw from the case.
Loevy & Loevy says Drury refused to include the firm’s partner Mike Kanowitz as co-lead counsel in the final draft of a motion to lead class counsel in the multi-district litigation, according to Bloomberg.
Drury counters by disputing various claims made by his former firm.
The complaint under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act accuses Clearview of failing to collect informed consent before collecting the biometrics of people in the state, as required under BIPA. Plaintiffs were granted more time for discovery in the case in September.
Drury, while still with Loevy & Loevy, represented plaintiffs in the lawsuits against Amazon and Microsoft over the Diversity in Faces biometric dataset. Those cases were rejected without trials earlier this month. He also represented plaintiffs in a suit against IBM, which created the dataset, and had a similar result.
Loevy & Loevy points to its victory in the BIPA case against BNSF Railway earlier this month as an indication of its fitness to represent plaintiffs in the case against Clearview.