Data privacy litigation
A clear but unfortunate trend has emerged in recent years: With increasing frequency, data privacy issues lead to litigation (or at least the threat of it) even where actual damages are non-existent. To make matters worse, the legal landscape continues to evolve on critical issues, such as whether the mere fact of having had your personal information disclosed or obtained without authorization is sufficient to confer standing to sue in federal court. And, the legal evolution is not always in favor of the defendants. In fact, a significant split has developed among federal courts over whether the increased risk of future injury from identity theft following a data breach is actionable even in the absence of actual damages. Compounding the problem, data privacy laws differ from state to state, and there is often little precedent to help guide a court’s decision in this murky but emerging area of law.
At McDonald Hopkins, we have a team of over 20 data privacy attorneys located in multiple offices with the expertise, resources, and experience to help you navigate this dynamic environment. We can counsel you before an incident occurs, with helpful advice and workshops on issues including legal compliance, risk management, incident-response plans, employee policies and training, and storage of personal information. Our team also can help guide you and your organization through the complicated regulatory process if a breach does occur. In fact, we have advised clients on over 2,100 privacy incidents and over 200 regulatory investigations nationwide. And of course, if data privacy litigation is threatened or filed, we are fully equipped to aggressively and relentlessly defend you anywhere in the country.
While our defense will be zealous, it will also be deliberate. A client is best served through objective counsel. Where we believe a case should be settled, we will advise you of that at the earliest opportunity and, with your support, employ a litigation strategy designed to achieve that result.Regardless of whether your case is resolved in the courtroom or the conference room, our goal is to always obtain the best possible outcome, as defined by you, for your data privacy litigation.
Unique experienceWe have handled data privacy litigation on behalf of a wide variety of both large and small companies in numerous industries, including, but not limited to, healthcare, financial services, transcription, and manufacturing. These cases have ranged from single-plaintiff negligence claims, to multi-count class actions involving thousands of putative class members arising from large-scale breaches and data privacy statutes, such as Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Our experience has taught us that although your organization may be statutorily required to provide notice of a breach, it may not be at fault for the incident itself. As part of your defense, we will investigate every possible option to minimize or eliminate altogether your potential liability, including seeking indemnification, contribution or other relief from third parties. Where third-party liability exists, we are adept and knowledgeable in prosecuting claims on your behalf to help mitigate the costs and consequences associated with data privacy litigation.