Reed Smith Client Alerts

No harm does not equal no foul?

Confirm that your company has adequate insurance coverage now that the Supreme Court of Illinois has lowered the bar for plaintiffs to prosecute claims for violations of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act.

Autores: J. Andrew Moss David E. Weiss Cristina M. Shea

Plaintiffs have filed more than 100 class actions under the Illinois Biometrics Privacy Act (BIPA) against national, regional, and local businesses operating in Illinois. BIPA allows private plaintiffs to seek substantial statutory damages and awards of plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees for violations involving the collection, use, safeguarding, handling, storage, retention, and destruction of biometric information obtained from customers or employees. Now, a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Illinois has lowered the bar for plaintiffs to prosecute cases under BIPA and raised the probability of increased costs of defending class action litigation and exposure to potential awards of statutory damages. Defending, settling for many businesses, and paying damages and judgments in claims under BIPA may be covered in whole or part under cyberliability, media liability, and employment practices liability insurance. Businesses should carefully review their liability insurance programs to determine whether they may respond to a claim under BIPA or a similar statute, and should provide prompt notice of claim in the event of a suit.