Late last week, the Seventh Circuit affirmed a trial court’s ruling granting dismissal at summary judgment of claims against FCA US LLC (“FCA,” formerly known as Chrysler) and Harman International Industries, Inc. (“Harman”) for lack of Article III standing. See Flynn v. FCA US LLC, — F. 4th —-, 2022 WL 2751660 (7th Cir. July 14, 2022). Plaintiffs’ class-action complaint claimed injuries arising out of an alleged cybersecurity vulnerability in an infotainment system designed by Harman for installation in FCA vehicles manufactured between 2013 and 2015. See id. at *1. However, after discovery, the Plaintiffs offered the trial court no evidence establishing that the vulnerability actually caused them any harm.
Having failed to cite “any factual support for their claimed injury” in the trial court, id. at *3, the Plaintiffs shifted gears and sought to rely on appeal on portions of their expert reports regarding an “overpayment” theory that they had not relied on in the trial court, id. at *4. Under that argument, Plaintiffs claimed that “they paid more for their vehicles than they would have if they had known about the cybersecurity vulnerability.” Id. at *1. The Seventh Circuit rejected Plaintiffs’ bid to rely on their expert reports as arising “far too late,” id. at *4, and affirmed the trial court’s ruling with a procedural modification to reflect a dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction without leave to amend, id. at *5.
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