Banking and Finance Law Daily Expiration date on card receipt not enough to create standing
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Expiration date on card receipt not enough to create standing

By Richard A. Roth, J.D.

Including a credit card expiration date on a printed receipt does not, by itself, constitute an injury in fact that gives a consumer standing to sue for a violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After observing that a FACTA amendment explicitly said that including an expiration date did not increase a consumer’s risk of being an identity theft victim, the court decided that a violation of this "bare procedural right" did not present a material risk of the particular harm that Congress intended the Act to prevent (Crupar-Weinmann v. Paris Baguette America, Inc., June 26, 2017, Katzmann, R.).

The consumer’s complaint was simple—she bought food at a restaurant operated by Paris Baguette America, paid using her credit card, and was given a receipt that included the card’s expiration date in violation of FACTA. In the absence of any indication of actual damages, the consumer attempted to describe a willful violation by claiming that the restaurant, knowingly and recklessly, routinely gave customers receipts that included expiration dates.

Paris Baguette argued that the consumer did not have standing to sue because she had not described a concrete and particularized injury caused by the claimed violation.

Concrete injury. In any challenge to standing, the question to be answered is "context-specific to the statutory right in question and the particular risk of harm congress sought to prevent," the court began. To analyze the standing issue, the court referred to the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, May 16, 2016).Spokeo made clear that a risk of real harm from a violation of a statute’s procedural requirements can be enough to constitute a concrete injury, the court then said. Since the restaurant customer had not claimed any actual damages, the question was whether printing her card’s expiration date on the receipt exposed her to a degree of risk that rose to the level of a concrete injury.

FACTA was intended to reduce the risk that a consumer could become an identity theft victim, the court pointed out. When it amended the Act, Congress said that if a credit card account number was properly truncated, including the card expiration date did not increase that risk. In the court’s opinion, that resolved the issue. There was no risk of identity theft and thus no concrete injury.

The case is No. 14-3709.

Attorneys: Gregory A. Frank (Frank LLP) for Devorah Crupar-Weinmann. Joshua A. Berman (Troutman Sanders LLP) for Paris Baguette America, Inc.

Companies: Paris Baguette America, Inc.

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