Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins: U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Whether Plaintiffs Have Standing to Assert a Statutory Violation without Alleging any Actual Harm

By: Andrew C. Glass, Brian M. Forbes, Gregory N. Blase, Robert W. Sparkes, III, Roger L. Smerage, Eric W. Lee

The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari to decide whether a statutory violation alone, unaccompanied by any actual harm to the plaintiff, is sufficient to establish Article III standing. See Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339 (U.S. Apr. 27, 2015).

In other words, the Court will consider whether a plaintiff has a constitutional right to bring a lawsuit in federal court seeking damages provided by statute in the absence of allegations of actual harm. While the Spokeo case arises in the context of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., a decision by the Court could affect how federal courts assess standing to bring claims under a wide range of federal statutes that provide for a private right of action for statutory damages.

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