Litigation » Seyfarth Examines Class Action Rulings After TransUnion

Seyfarth Examines Class Action Rulings After TransUnion

March 19, 2024

Seyfarth Examines Class Action Rulings After TransUnion

The Seyfarth Workplace Class Action Blog has published the final installment of its series about the legacy of TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that every class member must have Article III standing in order to recover individual damages and that an informational injury that causes no adverse effects cannot satisfy Article III. 

In TransUnion, the Supreme Court established that Article III standing requires a “concrete harm,” even when there is a statutory violation, and that “an injury in law is not an injury in fact,” Seyfarth explained in earlier installments of the series. The Supreme Court also determined that plaintiffs must demonstrate standing with respect to each claim asserted and each form of injunctive relief and damages.

The final post of the Seyfarth series summarizes key rulings from Circuit Courts of Appeal that deal with standing, post-TransUnion.

In Van v. LLR, Inc. the plaintiff sought class-action status for more than 10,000 purchasers who alleged that a clothing retailer charged sales taxes based on the retailer’s, not the purchaser’s, which led to overpayment of sales taxes.

U.S. District Court in Alaska certified the class. LLR appealed, arguing that the discount it offered was equal to or greater than the allegedly improper sales tax. Therefore, customers did not suffer any injury.

The Ninth Circuit remanded the case to the district court. It acknowledged that TransUnion opened the question of “whether every class member must demonstrate standing before a court certifies a class.”

In February 2024, the district court ruled again that under TransUnion, a discount equal to or greater than the tax meant no injury in fact.

In Green-Cooper v. Brinker International, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit considered a putative class action against a restaurant owner whose customers learned that their credit card information and personally identifiable information had been compromised in a data breach. The classes were certified and the defendant appealed.

The Eleventh Circuit noted that classes the district court identified included only individuals who “had their data accessed by cybercriminals” during the defined period. The Court called that insufficient and remanded the case to the district court.

In February the defendant asked for certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking a ruling that no class can be certified because of individual issues of damages and injury.

Seyfarth highlighted other rulings as well in its blog post. It urges companies to study them carefully.

“Employers who find themselves defending against complex litigation in these jurisdictions (or elsewhere) can utilize each of these rulings respectively and should be aware of them accordingly,” the law firm wrote. “Employers should take note of these cases in particular in crafting their strategies to narrow proposed classes or, better yet, defeat class certification altogether.”

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