Shub & Johns Attorney, Samantha Holbrook, Co-authors Analysis on Standing in Recent Second Circuit Decision, Bohnak v. Marsh & McLennan Companies
Shub & Johns celebrates one of its Partners, Samantha E. Holbrook, who recently submitted a publication containing her analysis on a recent ruling that supports Article III standing concerning risk of future harm in a data breach context.
Holbrook co-authored this publication alongside colleagues Raphael Janove and Andrew Ferich. You can access the article here.
With a surge of data breaches across the country affecting people’s personal identification information (PII) and personal health information (PHI), plaintiff’s attorneys argue that not only are every-day individuals impacted in the short term, but may be at risk of experiencing long-term negative effects as well.
In the article, Holbrook touches on how risk of future harm is possible and probable in actions concerning a plaintiff’s PII and PHI, especially when sensitive information such as Social Security numbers have been exposed to unauthorized third parties.
The recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit, Bohnak v. Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc, which is the subject of the article, fortified Article III plaintiff standing in a data breach class action. There, attorneys for the plaintiff had argued that the potential risk of future harm was sufficient to confer standing under Article III.
The Second Circuit ultimately agreed, concluding that, in Bohnak’s case, not only was there sufficient risk of future harm, but, when PII – like an individual’s Social Security number – is obtained by any third party, future injuries are reasonably imminent, and thus Article III is satisfied.
The authors opine that this decision not only affects the future of data breach and privacy actions, but also stands to bolster standing arguments from plaintiffs who allege risk of future harm on the basis of reputational, commercial or even emotional harm.