Stephan Zouras won yet another important ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court in a closely-watched class action, confirming the right of Illinois citizens to seek redress under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) not just the first time a private entity collects biometric data without consent, but every time it violates the statute.
Our client, Latrina Cothron, was a longtime employee of White Castle, a company which repeatedly collected, stored and disseminated her sensitive biometric data without her consent and without creating a biometric retention and destruction policy as required under BIPA.
In an opinion by Justice Rochford, the Court held that claims accrue under the Act not just the first time a private entity collects or disseminates biometric data without prior informed consent, as urged by White Castle, but every time. In so holding, the Court rejected White Castle’s argument that it violated Ms. Cothron’s rights only once – when it first collected her biometrics without her consent.
James Zouras, one of the principals and founders of Stephan Zouras, argued for Plaintiff last May, in furtherance of our firm’s leadership in defending the biometric privacy rights of Illinois citizens on appeal in federal and state court, including an unprecedented four cases before the Illinois Supreme Court in the last 10 months.
“We are extremely gratified that after three years of litigating this important issue, Ms. Cothron and the class she represents will now have an opportunity to proceed with her case and prove to a jury that White Castle disregarded their biometric privacy rights under BIPA for over a decade,” says Zouras. “The Illinois Supreme Court’s well-reasoned decision affirms that the law means what it says and that biometric data collectors cannot shirk their duties by relying on dubious interpretations of the statutory text. Hopefully, today’s decision will encourage employers and other biometric data collectors to finally start taking the law seriously and ensure such biometric data is properly safeguarded.”
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