Seventh Circuit Issues Standing Decision Favorable to the Defense and Insurance Industry: Baysal v. Midvale Indem. Co., No. 22-1892 (7th Cir. 8-22-23)
By Melinda S. Kollross
In a data breach decision favorable to the defense and insurance industry, the Seventh Circuit in a split decision authored by Judge Easterbrook holds that plaintiffs lacked standing to sue for the improper disclosure of their driver’s license numbers because the plaintiffs had not shown they suffered any concrete injury from the disclosures. In so holding, the Court rejected plaintiffs’ arguments that harm was shown because the disclosures caused them worry and anxiety making them take costly steps such as retaining a credit reporting service. But according to the Court, plaintiffs failed to tie up the disclosures to any actual harm that could be done to their credit or finances, since not much could be done just with a driver’s license number. The Court stated that plaintiffs’ worry and anxiety about the disclosures were not good enough to establish standing because if that were the case, “almost everyone could litigate about almost anything, because just about everything anyone does causes some other people to fret”.