Pennsylvania Record

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Third Circuit to decide J.Crew case over receipts; Pittsburgh attorney says these lawsuits not going away

By Glenn Minnis | Jun 27, 2017

CAMDEN, N.J. - A man who had his proposed class action lawsuit over the digits of his credit card that were included on a receipt from J.Crew dismissed has appealed that decision.

On June 20, Ahmed Kamal filed his notice of intent to appeal a New Jersey federal judge's decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Earlier this month, Judge William Martini, of the District of New Jersey, ruled in favor of J. Crew in a putative class action in which the plaintiff claimed the retailer printed receipts that potentially made him vulnerable to identity theft and violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA).

That marked the second time the court ruled in favor of the retailer stemming from claims made by Kamal, who charged on three separate occasions in 2014 the retailer printed the first six and last four digits of his credit card number on transaction receipts.

In the most recent ruling, U.S. District Judge William Martini granted J. Crew’s motion to dismiss because the plaintiff “failed to allege a sufficiently concrete injury.”

Further, the court noted, the digit printing “does not implicate the historic ‘right to be let alone,’ particularly when the first six digits do not pertain to the customer’s individual bank account.”

Having closely followed the lawsuit, Reed Smith associate attorney Brian J. Willett, based in Pittsburgh, told the Pennsylvania Record, "Judge Martini found that the allegations of the proposed class just didn’t adequately demonstrate an injury ‘concrete’ enough to achieve constitutional standing to proceed with the case. Here the complaint does allege a violation of FACTA, but that wasn’t enough to constitute an injury for which the court could provide legal relief.”

As part of its decision, the court also ruled that the degree of potential risk for future identity theft was too low to constitute a concrete harm. The ruling also stipulated the way J.Crew did things didn’t provide any added data for would-be identity thieves.

“Litigation over the privacy of personal information has been steadily increasing,” Willett added. “Interestingly, in addition to seeing more states considering legislation specifically focused on newer technologies, there are still many suits brought under older statutes, such as (FACTA), which was the case here. 

"While decisions like this are favorable for defendants, suits like this are unlikely to go away any time soon.”

Willett also noted the Kamal verdict was rendered without prejudice, meaning he could file another amended complaint at any time.

Want to get notified whenever we write about any of these organizations ?

Sign-up Next time we write about any of these organizations, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

Reed Smith U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey