U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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Petition for appeal denied

June 11, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied the petition for appeal of the trial court's class certification.

U.S. Chamber urges review of largest internet privacy class action ever certified

April 23, 2013

The U.S. Chamber joined a large coalition to urge the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to review a trial court's “conditional certification” of a class action alleging privacy breaches. The plaintiffs in this case allege that the defendant company exceeded its own “terms of use” for downloaded software that is used to set website advertising rates. The Chamber argued in its amicus brief that this case presents important questions about the the appropriateness of certifying privacy claims under ill-fitting federal statutes particularly where the plaintiffs have failed to prove any meaningful injury from the alleged privacy breaches. The class was “conditionally” certified with complete disregard for the Supreme Court's recent decisions in Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Comcast v. Behrend, which reaffirmed that courts must conduct a “rigorous analysis” prior to certifying a class. According to the brief, once even the most frivolous class action is certified, companies face tremendous pressure to settle.

John F. Cooney, Thomas E. Gilbertsen, and Michael P. Bracken of the law firm Venable LLP served as the Litigation Center's co-counsel for the amicus brief.

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