Consumer Law

New Cash Register Receipts Law Rings Up Class Action Bonanza

A new federal law that requires merchants to remove from cash register receipts private information such as more than five digits of a credit card number apparently may have caught some major companies napping.

Some 300 class actions have been filed during the 16 months since since the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act took effect, reports the National Law Journal. Plaintiffs are entitled to statutory damages of between $100 and $1,000 per violation, regardless of whether they can prove economic loss.

One major issue in many of the cases is whether the class should be certified, the legal publication explains, noting that a number of defense lawyers are mounting an “annihilation defense” and contending that companies will be destroyed if the law is enforced as written.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the validity of the defense in Soualian v. International Coffee & Teas, No. 07-56377.

However, the Chicago-based 7th Circuit held the defense is invalid in Murray v. GMAC Mortgage Corp., 434 F.3d 948, putting FACTA cases in that circuit on a faster track.

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