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Robertson v. Hostmark Hospitality Group

Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Chancery Division

July 31, 2019, Filed

Case No. 18-CH-5194

Opinion

 [*1] MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Defendants Hostmark Hospitality Group, Inc. and Raintree Enterprises Mart Plaza, Inc. have filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff, Thomas Robertson's complaint pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-619.1.

I. Background

The Biometric Information Privacy Act ("BIPA") requires private entities in possession of biometric information to develop a publicly available written policy establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying biometric information. 740 ILCS 14/15(a). BIPA also requires a private entity to obtain written consent from the individual before it can collect the individual's biometric information. 740 ILCS 14/15(b). Significantly, BIPA prevents a private entity from disseminating an individual's biometric information unless it has received the individual's consent. 740 ILCS 14/15(d).

Section 14/20 of BIPA grants any person aggrieved by a violation of BIPA a right of action. 740 ILCS 14/20. A prevailing party may recover actual damages or a statutory penalty whichever is greater for each violation. 740 ILCS 14/20 (1) and (2).

A. Plaintiff Thomas Robertson

Plaintiff Thomas Robertson ("Robertson") filed a Class Action Complaint (the "Complaint"), Robertson alleges that he worked as a food and beverage manager for Defendants Hostmark Hospitality Group, Inc. [*2]  ("Hostmark") and Raintree Enterprises Mart Plaza, Inc. ("Raintree") (collectively "Defendants") from 2010 to January 2016. (Compl. at ¶41). Robertson alleges that beginning in 2010, as a condition of his employment, he was required to scan his fingerprint so Defendants could authenticate and track his time. (Id. at ¶42). Robertson alleges that Defendants stored his fingerprint data in their employee database. (Id. at ¶43).

Robertson alleges that Defendants violated BIPA because: (1) he was never informed of the specific limited purposes or length of time for which Defendants collected, stored, and disseminated his biometric information; (2) he was never informed of any biometric data retention and deletion policy; (3) he never signed a written release allowing Defendants to collect, store, use, or disseminate his biometric data; and (4) upon information and belief, Defendants have disclosed his fingerprint data to at least one out-of-state third-party vender. (Compl. at ¶¶33, 45-47, 71, 76-77, 81, 86-88, 92, 97-98).

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2019 Ill. Cir. LEXIS 119 *

THOMAS ROBERTSON, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. HOSTMARK HOSPITALITY GROUP, INC, et al, Defendants,

CORE TERMS

biometric, statute of limitations, violating, right to privacy, damages, motion to dismiss, liquidated, alleges, cause of action, actual damage, court finds, aggrieved, entities