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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Could Increase Business, Data Privacy Risks Tied to Class Actions

Bloomberg Law

  • April 13, 2021

Steve Carey and Sarah Hutchins explained in Bloomberg Law why "manufacturers, tech companies, and the broader business community may be set to receive a mixed result from the U.S. Supreme Court on how tough it is to get a class action lawsuit dismissed at an early stage."

"At issue in TransUnion v. Ramirez is whether a named plaintiff, who suffered unique injuries after being incorrectly placed on a terrorism-related watchlist—and then sued alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act—should have been allowed to represent a class that included people who may have suffered no actual injury at all," they wrote. "If that were permitted, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned in an amicus brief it would provide a 'roadmap to transform what should be an individualized dispute between a uniquely sympathetic plaintiff and a defendant into a multimillion-dollar class action.' Businesses, in turn, 'will find themselves mired in massive lawsuits over alleged technical statutory violations that have not caused actual harm to the vast majority of the class.'"

"While it was not the kind of oral argument that provides a clear sense of where the justices are going, their questions during the March 30 argument suggest the business community may avoid the sprawling liability that some had forecast," they continued. "There appear to be enough votes to narrow the class. But businesses are not certain to walk away with all they hoped for, as the court seemed inclined to recognize a right to standing for a statutory violation that many believed was foreclosed by a key ruling from five years ago."

Subscribers can read the full article here: SCOTUS Ruling Could Increase Business, Data Privacy Risks Tied to Class Actions.

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