The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that separate claims under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) accrue “with every scan or transmission” of a person’s biometric information—rejecting the idea that only a single claim accrues at the start of a series of similar scans or disclosures.
The decision, Cothron v. White Castle, substantially increases potential damages exposure for BIPA defendants. The potential for large monetary awards is likely to spur more BIPA lawsuits in Illinois—and potentially beyond, as several other States have similar privacy laws taking effect in 2023. At the same time, however, Cothron establishes that trial courts have discretion to determine the appropriate amount of statutory damages (subject to a $5,000-per-violation cap), and suggests that it would be an abuse of discretion for a trial court to permit such a sizeable award that a company’s financial viability would be threatened. Continue Reading New BIPA Claims Accrue “With Every Scan or Transmission” of Biometric Information, Says the Illinois Supreme Court