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BNSF’s $228 Million Bipa Judgment in Play after ‘White Castle’

Bloomberg Law

A Chicago judge’s decision on whether to amend a $228 million judgment against BNSF Railway Co. will provide a first glimpse into how courts will interpret an Illinois Supreme Court decision opening the door to enormous damages awards for violations of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act.


Some defense attorneys see the possibility that the court’s holding on discretionary damages could actually reduce damages awards and settlements in BIPA cases, but Jeffrey Rosenthal, the biometric privacy team lead at Blank Rome LLP in Philadelphia, wasn’t so sanguine.

“It’s true that you can pull the court’s statements on discretion out of this ruling and take some comfort, maybe that relieves the doom and gloom a bit, but as I’ve explained to clients, if you’re banking on the judge at the end of the day, that’s a lot of risk,” Rosenthal said.

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"BNSF’s $228 Million Bipa Judgment in Play after ‘White Castle’," by Christopher Brown was published in Bloomberg Law on March 9, 2023.