A Matter of FACTA (Part II): Recent Developments Favor Defendants in Defeating Class Actions Alleging Willful Violations
By John Gibson, Charles Patrizia, Joshua Hamilton, Dara Freling, Larry Sidman and Jason Rosenstock
Class action litigation relating to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) has become something of a national phenomenon. Beginning in December 2006, plaintiffs attorneys began filing lawsuits in federal courts in California against retailers, restaurants and exhibitors alleging willful violations of FACTA based largely on the appearance of an expiration date on an electronically-printed credit card receipt provided to consumers. The impetus for these lawsuits is the availability of statutory penalties of between $100 and $1,000 per consumer for each willful violation, and the fact that the effective date for compliance for all credit card machines was December 4, 2006. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681n. In total, there have been approximately 130 lawsuits filed in California, and approximately 75 others in federal courts in Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, Maryland, Florida and Kansas.