Supreme Court’s Spokeo Decision May Curb No-Injury Lawsuits
May 23, 2016
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins should make it harder for class action (or any other) plaintiffs and their lawyers to win suits for alleged technical and procedural violations of law that result in no actual harm to plaintiffs. Until this decision, it was not clear whether a plaintiff automatically satisfies the constitutional “standing” requirement whenever a statute grants a person a statutory right and purports to authorize that person to sue to vindicate that right. Associate Justice Alito, writing for a 6-2 majority, said that Article III of the Constitution requires a showing of “concrete” injury even in the context of a statutory violation. Merely citing a statutory violation is not enough. As a result of this decision, plaintiffs will need to do more work than just allege a violation; they must also prove some non-abstract harm in order to get into court. The case is Spokeo Inc. v. Robins. See CBA’s Regulatory Compliance Bulletin for more information.