No Concrete Harm, No Foul: The Supreme Court’s Spokeo Decision

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced a decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins (No. 13-1339) that may have far-reaching implications for plaintiffs seeking to enforce purely statutory rights under statutes like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Lanham Act and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Particularly in the class action context, the new ruling has the potential to substantially limit claims alleging a purely technical violation of a statute absent actual harm or a material risk of harm, adding a further inquiry to complicate Rule 23’s commonality and predominance requirements.

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