Lowe's not yet served in FACTA class action suit

Amelia Flood Apr. 14, 2009, 11:27am

With a case management conference looming April 29, Lowe's Home Centers, Inc. has yet to be served in a 2008 class action suit claiming it neglected its duty to protect customers from identity theft and credit card fraud under the Fair and Accurate Transaction Act (FACTA).

Doris J. Masters, represented by Brad Lakin of LakinChapman in Wood River, sued the Glen Carbon Lowe's on Oct. 2. She claims the store, located at 159 Whistle Stop Dr., negligently provided a receipt listing her entire credit card number.

Under FACTA, merchants who accept credit and debit cards can only print receipts showing the last five digits of a customer's card. The measure is meant to protect consumers from identity theft as well as credit and debit card fraud.

According to the 2003 law, stores had three years to update their equipment to print the correct receipts. Masters' suit contends that the Lowe's store "willfully violated this law and failed to protect plaintiff (and others similarly situated)," because it printed Masters' full 16 digit card number on Oct. 15, 2007, nearly a year after the grace period ended.

The suit contends the proposed class includes at least 100 people. The plaintiff is seeking statutory damages between $100 and $1,000 per class member, punitive damages, court costs and attorney's fees.

Masters filed a stipulation March 3 that amended the defendant in the suit from Lowe's Companies Inc. to Lowe's Homes Centers, Inc. The change, according to the stipulation, came because Lowe's Companies Inc. did not own or operate the store in question but rather acted as a holding company only. Lowe's Companies Inc. is based in North Carolina.

To date, only the plaintiff, Doris J. Masters, has filed papers in the case set before Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla. Because the company has not been served, it does not yet have an attorney of record.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 2008-L-910

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