An appeals panel in the state of Illinois decided on Friday that the limitation period under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act varies depending on the fees in the case.
The law, known as BIPA, requires companies that store biometric information to inform the subject in writing that data is being collected or stored and the purpose and duration for which it is being collected.
It also requires companies to obtain the written consent of the subject. The law, which does not contain any prescription, has led to many lawsuits against companies.
Jerome Tims and Isaac Watson had brought a suspected class action lawsuit against Plainfield, Indiana-based Black Horse Carriers Inc., a freight forwarding service, in Illinois court in 201
Mr. Tims complained that the company had not properly informed him and other employees about the purpose and length of the company's fingerprint storage and use, according to the law among other fees.
The Chicago Court asked the State Court of Appeal to determine whether a one or five year statute of limitations, an issue not covered by the law, applies.
The Court held that this was due to the charges. It said that under state law there is a one-year statute of limitations if the fee includes "publication of private facts, attribution of name or similarity to another and false publicity."
However, there is a five-year limitation period for "all civil proceedings not otherwise provided," according to state law, the court said when returning the case to the lower court for further proceedings.
Jean Y. Liu, defense attorney with the Kaufman Dolowich Voluck LLP in Chicago, who is not involved in the case, said the verdict "provides some clarity" on the issue of prescription. The parties have mainly made guesses about applicable limitation periods, she said.
However, she said that "the appellant's lawyers are likely to welcome the confirmation of a five-year statute of limitations" in cases where there are charges for multiple offenses.
Ms. Liu also noted that there is a similar case now in appeal in Illinois, Scott Marion v. Ring Container Technologies LLC.
In June, a BIPA lawsuit was filed against Six Flags Entertainment Corp., whose litigation included an Illinois Supreme Court decision, settling for up to $ 36 million. Catalog