May 23, 2021

Federal court approves approximately $1 million BIPA class action settlement

On May 12, 2021, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted final approval of an approximately $1 million class action settlement related to an alleged violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).  
In Bedford v. Lifespace Communities, Inc., a former employee of an organization that operates U.S. senior retirement facilities, including two facilities in Illinois, alleged that her employer violated the BIPA when it collected her fingerprints each day for timekeeping purposes.  Bedford, who worked for Lifespace from 2017 to 2020, alleged that the biometric data was collected without first obtaining her and her coworkers’ written consent or having a published retention policy in violation of BIPA §§ 15(a) and (b).  Bedford also alleged a “likely” violation of BIPA § 15(d) for sharing the fingerprint data with third parties without obtaining prior consent.  
In August 2020, Lifespace moved to dismiss the allegations on a variety of bases, including that the allegations were time barred, speculative, and required to be adjudicated under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (and not BIPA), and that the BIPA is unconstitutional “special legislation” because it arbitrarily excludes financial institutions, their affiliates, and government agencies “with no rational relation to BIPA’s fundamental purpose.”  The court accepted the parties’ settlement before issuing an order on the motion to dismiss.

Final Judgment | Order | Unopposed Petition for Fees | Lifespace Motion to Dismiss | Bedford Response to Motion to Dismiss