The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has turned aside a constitutional challenge to the statutory damages provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act in litigation against a food establishment that allegedly printed more than the last five digits of a customer’s credit card number on an electronically generated receipt. Harris v. Mexican Specialty Foods, Inc., Nos. 08-13510 & -13616 (11th Cir., decided April 9, 2009). The district court had granted the merchants’ motions for summary judgment and dismissed the claims with prejudice, after finding the statutory damages provision unconstitutionally vague and excessive.

According to the appeals court, which addressed only the facial challenge to the law, by providing for a range of damages (from $100 to $1,000), the law does not deprive potential defendants of notice of the consequences of violations or result in arbitrarily assessed damages awards. The court remanded the litigation for further proceedings.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.