Lowe's class action suit removed to federal court

Amelia Flood Apr. 20, 2009, 3:49am

A case management conference is off as a class action suit brought against Lowe's Home Centers Inc. was removed to federal court.

The suit, brought by Madison County resident Doris Masters, alleges that Lowe's violated the federal Fair and Accurate Transaction Act, when all 16 digits of her credit card were printed on a receipt from a Glen Carbon Lowe's.

The federal law, intended to protect consumers from identity theft and fraud, only allows merchants to print the last five digits of a credit or debit card.

The case was slated for a case management conference before Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla on April 29. However, Lowe's filed a notice of removal April 13. The case has been transferred from the Madison County Circuit to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Lowe's argued in the notice that the federal courts have jurisdiction over the case because the class action suit argues that the company violated federal law.

Masters sued the Lowe's at 159 Whistle Stop Dr. in Glen Carbon Oct. 2, 2008. The suit alleges the store was negligent in printing Masters' entire credit card number.

FACTA, which took effect in 2003, mandated the stores change their equipment to print only the last five digits of a credit or debit card number on customer 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.

On the same day Lowe's filed its notice of removal in the Masters' case, Edwardsville attorney Troy Bozarth of filed his appearance as one of Lowe's attorneys in Madison County.

Masters' is represented by Brad Lakin of LakinChapman LLC in Wood River.

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

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