Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc.

Case Movement

Case Details

  • Case Status: Pending
  • Docket Number: 128004
  • Category: Privacy

Issue

The Illinois Supreme Court will be ruling on whether damages under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) accrue every time an employee scans his fingerprint at work or just for the first violation when the fingerprint information was first recorded. In this case, the employee had to clock in and out using a fingerprint scan. Clearly, it could be ruinous, particularly for a small business, with damages at up to $5,000 per violation, if it is each scan versus the first time when the employer collected the biometric information.

March 3, 2022

The Restaurant Law Center, Retail Litigation Center, and National Retail Federation filed a Motion For Leave to file as amici curiae in support of the defendant-appellant. Our stated position is that BIPA was not designed as a mechanism to expose businesses taking good faith measures to enhance the security of their employees’ information to extraordinary damages—particularly where no one was harmed. Nor was BIPA designed to be a vehicle for entrepreneurial litigants to leverage windfall statutory damages exposure to extract massive settlements. We urge the Illinois Supreme Court to find that claims under BIPA accrue only upon the first scan or first transmission.