In August 2018, a sports concession company successfully moved to dismiss a class action complaint arising under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, finding the named plaintiff lacked Article III standing because she suffered no harm. The victory was short-lived, however, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the decision on July 2, finding that the plaintiff satisfied standing requirements to maintain her lawsuit.
In Jeffries v. Volume Services America, Inc. d/b/a Centerplate, plaintiff Doris Jeffries claimed that Centerplate violated FACTA’s truncation requirement because it included her 16-digit credit card number and the expiration date on a receipt. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g) (prohibiting printing more than the last five digits and the expiration date on a receipt). According to the complaint, Jeffries immediately noticed the error and stored the receipt in a safe place.
The district court dismissed the lawsuit, finding that Jeffries did not suffer any actual harm or an increased risk of harm because only she saw the receipt. The Court further held that the burden of safeguarding the violative receipt is insufficiently concrete to support Article III standing.
Applying Rule 12’s plausibility standard, the Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal, finding that Jeffries adequately pled harm at the point of sale because the receipt contained information prohibited by statute that could enable identity theft.
The Court emphasized that under the standard articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016), invasion of a statutory right can be sufficient – in some cases – to constitute an injury-in-fact. While the concreteness requirement “sharply limits” when a plaintiff can establish harm based solely on the violation of a procedural right, Jeffries’ right to the decreased risk of identity theft was allegedly violated when Centerplate printed her receipt containing information prohibited by FACTA.