PHILADELPHIA - Aetna Inc. and related entities (Aetna, collectively) have agreed to pay $17,161,200 to settle privacy claims by more than 13,400 class members whose HIV status was revealed by the insurer through an indiscreet mailing, according to a motion for preliminary approval of a class action settlement filed Jan. 16 (Andrew Beckett, et al. v. Aetna, Inc., et al., No. 17-3864, E.D. Pa.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A commercial general liability (CGL) insurer on Jan. 4 moved for summary judgment in California federal court in a coverage dispute with Yahoo! Inc., arguing that its duty to indemnify was never triggered in underlying privacy lawsuits over the internet firm's former email-scanning practices because no damages award was levied against Yahoo (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 5:17-cv-00489, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 8 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by a man who claimed to have opted out of the 2011 settlement of a privacy class action against Google Inc. over its now-defunct Google Buzz feature, letting stand a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming dismissal of the suit under the doctrine of res judicata (Michael Amalfitano v. Google Inc., No. 17-358, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - On Dec. 8, the same day that a group of plaintiffs moved for class certification in their claims under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) against Facebook Inc., the social network moved for summary judgment, telling a California federal court that applying the Illinois law to its out-of-state facial recognition activities would violate the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Nov. 28 rescinded a 2006 advisory opinion for the drug patient assistance program Caring Voice Coalition Inc. after determining that the program provided patient-specific data to one or more supporting drug companies, according to an OIG letter and a company statement.
LOS ANGELES - The same day Uber Technologies Inc. revealed in a Nov. 21 statement that it had experienced a data breach in late 2016, a class action complaint was filed against the ride-hailing firm in California federal court, alleging negligence, invasion of privacy and unfair competition (Alejandro Flores v. Rasier LLC, et al., No. 2:17-cv-08503, C.D. Calif.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An insurer has no duty to defend its insured in two underlying class actions alleging violations of the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) because the business liability policy's statutory violation exclusion clearly bars coverage, a North Carolina federal judge said Nov. 17 in granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A., et al., No. 17-183, W.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190603).
CHICAGO - The owner of assisted living facilities violates the Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting biometric data, one former employee alleges in a class complaint filed Nov. 14 in the Cook County, Ill., Circuit Court (Jonnae Taylor, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living Management, Inc., et al., No. 2017-CH-15152, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State law amendments in 2013 providing for secret ex parte interviews of a medical malpractice claimant's physicians violate the Florida Constitution's guarantees of privacy and court access, a Florida Supreme Court majority ruled Nov. 9, finding that including the interviews as part of the mandated presuit informal discovery process required claimants to waive their privacy rights to avail themselves of the courts (Emma Gayle Weaver v. Stephen C. Myers, M.D., et al. No. SC15-1538, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 2282).
NEWARK, N.J. - Viacom Inc. and the remaining plaintiffs in a putative privacy class action jointly filed a stipulation in New Jersey federal court on Nov. 3, seeking final dismissal of a mostly dismissed suit alleging improper tracking of minor users of the Nickelodeon network's website (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 26 brief opposing Facebook Inc.'s dismissal motion, the plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging violation of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via a photo-tagging feature tell a California federal court that they established standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution due to Facebook's invasion of their concrete, statutorily protected privacy rights (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - In an Oct. 20 in chambers order, a California federal magistrate judge mostly adopted a definition of the term "tracked data" as proposed by the plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging privacy violations in the purported tracking of users' viewing habits and other data via smart TVs made by Vizio Inc.(In Re: Vizio Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc. on Sept. 28 filed a renewed motion in California federal court to dismiss a putative class action alleging violation of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via a photo-tagging feature, arguing that the plaintiffs fail to allege concrete injury sufficient to establish jurisdiction under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. will pay more than $35 million to resolve federal criminal misdemeanor charges and civil claims that it promoted its expensive cholesterol drug Juxtapid for off-label uses and violated patient privacy and kickback laws in the process, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts announced Sept. 22 (United States of America v. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 17-cr-10288, D. Mass.).
LOS ANGELES - A California panel on Sept. 18 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a hotel management company's strategic lawsuit against public participation motion in relation to a tenant's causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), invasion of privacy and other claims, finding that the tenant waived any argument on appeal after he failed to oppose the motion (Troy A. Stewart v. Extended Stay America, et al., No. B272333, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6383).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 15 denied a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Shutterfly Inc. of violating Illinois' Biometic Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by using facial recognition software to scan faces in uploaded images and then storing that data (Alejandro Monroy, et al. v. Shutterfly, Inc., No. 16-10984, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149604).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 12 granted a motion to compel arbitration filed by Glassdoor Inc. in a class lawsuit filed by users who claim that their email addresses were publically disclosed (Paulo Pincaro, et al. v. Glassdoor, Inc., No. 16-6870, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147517).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 5 signed an order and stipulation dismissing with prejudice the remaining unfair competition and false advertising claims against Apple Inc. in a class action alleging privacy violations associated with applications on iPhones and other Apple devices (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Kong Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif.).