EDWARDSVILLE – A Madison County woman alleges her former Edwardsville employer illegally stored and collected her biometric information.

Dicha Jamerson filed a complaint on behalf of herself and on behalf of all others similarly situated on Nov. 17 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Cedarhurst of Edwardsville Holdings, Cedarhurst Memory Care of Edwardsville LLC, et al. alleging that they violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants collected, captured, stored and used her biometric information when she was an employee of the defendants to track time and attendance. She alleges she was never informed in writing that the biometric information was collected and she never permitted in writing for the defendant to use this information.

The plaintiff seeks an order certifying this case as a class action, actual and statutory damages, litigation expenses and any further relief that the court may deem appropriate. She is represented by John J. Driscoll and Christopher J. Quinn of The Driscoll Firm PC in St. Louis.

The lawsuit is at least the second such proposed class actions alleging violations of the BIPA filed in local courts. 

An expert in employment and labor law has predicted that the number of biometric lawsuits will grow due to a unique facet the BIPA law.

Passed by the state legislature in 2008 to ostensibly protect people against identity theft, the act places restrictions on the collection, storage and disclosure of personal biometric information by businesses. 

It requires businesses to obtain consent before collecting biometric data on people and sets limits on how long such information can be stored. It also places restrictions on the disclosure or use of such information after a business collects it.

Karla Grossenbacher, an attorney and partner at Seyfarth Shaw in Washington, D.C., said one reason that there has been a recent rise in the number of lawsuits regarding the collection of physiological data is because the practice has become more commonly used by businesses today. When the BIPA was passed in 2008, the use of biometrics data was still in its infancy.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 17-L-1582

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