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ISPLA DPPA Litigation Alert

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  • Peter Psarouthakis
    Below is an important class action litigation matter in which ISPLA will be actively involved --- Marcy A. Johnson v. West Publishing Company On August 9, U.S.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2011
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      Below is an important class action litigation matter in which ISPLA will be
      actively involved --- Marcy A. Johnson v. West Publishing Company On August
      9, U.S. District Court Judge Nanette K. Laughrey of the Western District
      Court of Missouri, Central Division, ordered that the Motion to Certify
      Class filed by plaintiff Marcy Johnson as putative class representative be
      granted. This litigation poses potential threats to some of our
      investigative and security professionals handling matters in the states
      listed below. A trial has been scheduled for September 26.

      18 U.S.C. § 2721(b). The DPPA creates a federal, civil cause of action for
      any “individual to whom the information pertains” against a violator of the
      statute. 18 U.S.C. § 2724(a).

      Johnson’s Complaint sets forth three Counts. Count I asserts a violation of
      the DPPA: “Defendant knowingly obtained, disclosed, and/or sold Plaintiff’s
      and the putative Class members’ personal information or highly restricted
      personal information, as defined by the DPPA, for a use or uses not
      permitted under the statute.”

      Count I prays for damages. Count II asserts a claim for unjust enrichment
      and seeks disgorgement. Finally, Count III asserts a claim for injunctive
      relief, based on DPPA violations.

      On May 11, 2010, the Court granted West’s Motion to Dismiss Count II of
      Johnson’s Complaint. Johnson then moved for certification of the following
      class:

      All persons who registered a motor vehicle in, or were issued a driver’s
      license or state identification card by, the States of Alabama, Alaska,
      Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana,
      Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
      Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio,
      Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia,
      whose personal information or highly restricted personal information, as
      defined by 18 U.S.C. §§ 2725(3) and (4), was obtained, disclosed, or sold by
      Defendant, or any agent, officer, employee, or contractor of Defendant
      between February 19, 2006 and the date of final judgment in this matter (the
      “Class”). The Class excludes Defendant’s directors, officers, parent
      corporations, subsidiaries, and affiliates.

      Some of you may have come across recent posts commenting about a
      professional association designating ISPLA as a “competing organization.”
      That association, as a part of its recent legislative fund-raising campaign,
      is creating the PI Cook Book and promoting a traveling PI Museum on Wheels.
      It has been billed as the PIMOW “50/50 Deal”. We wish both organizations
      well in their efforts to raise the public’s view of our profession -- but
      please know that ISPLA is there protecting your interests in DC full-time.
      Not to stir the pot too much, but failure to address this DPPA issue by my
      colleagues would be a recipe for disaster.

      We are all volunteers, but we do incur costs to maintain our live real-time
      federal and state legislative tracking system and in filing periodically
      required IRS and Federal Election reports in connection with ISPLA-PAC. So
      if you really care about having continuing professional representation in
      Washington and elsewhere, please consider supporting ISPLA. Thank you.

      A link to Judge Laughrey's ruling may be found at:

      https://ecf.mowd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2010cv4027-80

      Bruce Hulme
      ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
      To join us and support the ongoing work of ISPLA please go to www.ISPLA.org
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