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By Jimmy H. Koo
Aug. 12 — As soon as luxury fashion retailer J Choo USA Inc. printed a receipt without truncating credit card data it sufficiently damaged the customer to allow a federal statutory claim to proceed, according to a recent federal court ruling ( Wood v. J Choo USA, Inc. , 2016 BL 259968, S.D. Fla., No. 15-cv-81487-BLOOM/Valle, 8/11/16 ).
Judge Beth Bloom of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida said Aug. 11 that in certain circumstances—such as in this case involving Jimmy Choo—“the violation of a procedural right granted by statute” is sufficient to constitute injury for purposes of standing.
Companies facing lawsuits alleging statutory violations must be aware that although the U.S. Supreme Court held in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016) that a plaintiff must show that an injury was both “concrete and particularized” and can't rely on a procedural violation to allege injury in fact, there are instances where an injury may exist solely by virtue of statutes creating legal rights.
According to the class complaint, plaintiff Kerri C. Woods purchased a pair of sunglasses at a Jimmy Choo store and was presented with a printed receipt displaying certain credit card information. Woods alleged that the receipt displayed her credit card's expiration date, in violation of FACTA, which requires truncation of the credit card number and the expiration date.
Moving to dismiss the class action, Jimmy Choo argued that Woods lacked standing. It alleged that FACTA doesn't confer a substantive right for consumers to receive receipts that truncate the expiration date on their credit cards. Woods countered, arguing that failure to comply with FACTA constitutes sufficient injury.
The court agreed with the plaintiff.
In Spokeo, the Supreme Court recognized that Congress may elevate certain previously inadequate injuries to the status of legally cognizable injuries, the court said. “Through FACTA, Congress created a substantive legal right for Wood and other card-holding consumers similarly situated to receive receipts truncating their personal credit card numbers and expiration dates and, thus, protecting their personal financial information,” the court held.
Allegations that Jimmy Choo printed receipts containing the credit card's expiration date despite knowing FACTA's truncation requirements, “by themselves demonstrate an injury in fact,” the court concluded.
Jimmy Choo has until Aug. 22 to respond to the complaint.
Hogan Lovells US LLP represents Jimmy Choo. Bret Lusskin, PA, The Law Office of Scott D. Owens and Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman PL represent the plaintiff.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Full text of the court's opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Wood_v_J_Choo_USA_Inc_No_15cv81487BLOOMValle_2016_BL_259968_SD_Fl.
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