Federal Appeals Court Dismisses CareFirst Data Breach Appeal

August 11, 2020

The D.C. Circuit has ruled that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal of CareFirst customers whose data was stolen in a 2014 data breach. The lower court in Attias v. CareFirst dismissed most of the plaintiffs and claims in the case for failure to allege damages and certified the dismissed claims for appeal. The D.C. Circuit determined that some of the claims could not be appealed until the remaining claims were resolved by the lower court, and it was not clear whether the district court judge intended to certify the claims of the dismissed plaintiffs alone. The decision comes over a year after the parties briefed the substantive questions on appeal. EPIC filed an amicus brief that urged the court to impose a duty of reasonable data protection on businesses to ensure that companies protect the personal data they collect. EPIC also filed an amicus brief in the case the last time it was in the D.C. Circuit on a challenge to consumer standing. The D.C. Circuit held that the CareFirst consumers had standing to sue for the data breach.

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