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The insurer must defend the solarium in biometric cases



Illinois On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld two decisions in the lower court and ruled that an insurer is obligated to defend a solarium sued by a customer who charges a violation of state biometric law.

The state Supreme Court unanimously approved with previous rulings of a trial court and an appellate court that West Bend, Wisconsin-based West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. was required to defend Schaumburg Illinois-based Krishna Schaumburg Tan Inc., who was charged with violating the Illinois Biometric Information Act. [19659002] The Illinois Act, known as BIPA, requires companies that store biometric information in writing to inform the substance that it is being collected or stored and the purpose and duration for which it is collected and to receive the substance in writing

While several other states has comparable legislation, so far only the Illinois law has allowed a private right to action, which means that individuals can bring disputes under the law. Elsewhere, disputes must be filed by regulators or state attorneys.

Fallet, West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. against Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc. and Klaudia Sekura originated in Sekura, whose membership in the tanning room required her to give fingerprints to it. She was allegedly not notified of the company's data storage policy.

Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Sekura's complaint falls within, or potentially, West Bend's two business owners' liability policies because the underlying complaint alleged that Sekura had suffered non-bodily injury or advertising damage in the form of emotional outbursts, mental anxiety and psychic damage.

It also stated that Krishna's alleged sharing of the biometric information with its supplier, even though it was the only external recipient of the information, was a "publication" within West's reach. Bend's policy and that Krishna's alleged sharing of fingerprint information that it had received potentially violates Sekura's right to privacy.

The court also stated that an exemption in the coverage for violations of statutes does not apply to BIPA.

The case was arrested for further negotiations.

Ms. Sekura's lawyers had no comment while other lawyers in the case did not respond to a request for comment.

Many cases have been submitted under BIPA. In December, a federal district court ruled that a suspected class action lawsuit against BIPA could continue and rejected the defendant's argument that the law violated the state constitution.


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