On December 29, a putative class action was filed against Airgas, Inc. for printing expiration dates on credit and debit card receipts.  The putative class action, Aliano et al. v. Airgas USA LLC et al., Case No. 14CH20024 (Cook County), alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and identity theft.  Airgas is an industrial gas distributor based in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

According to the complaint, Airgas routinely included expiration dates, in addition to the last four digits of card numbers, on its customer transaction receipts despite the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act amendment to the FCRA that limits the amount of information allowed on such receipts.  Enacted in 2003, FACTA allows businesses to print receipts with up to the last five digits of a card number or the expiration date, but not both.  Companies were given until December 2006 to bring their operations into compliance, but the plaintiffs allege Airgas had still failed to do so by 2012.

“Defendants have negligently, recklessly and/or willfully violated this law and failed to protect plaintiffs, and others similarly situated, against identity theft and credit card and debit card fraud by continuing to print the expiration date of the card number on receipts,” the complaint said.

The plaintiffs also contend that the company conceded in prior litigation to making the same mistake on more than 100,000 receipts printed between April 2011 and August 2012.

“Most of defendants’ business peers and competitors readily brought their credit card and debit card receipt printing process into compliance with FACTA by, for example, programming their card machines and devices to prevent them from printing the expiration date of the card upon the receipts provided to the cardholders,” the complaint added.  “Defendants could have readily done the same.”

The plaintiffs seek statutory damages of $100 to $1,000 on behalf of the class for each alleged violation of the FCRA, along with attorneys’ fees and costs.