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Six Flags settles Illinois biometric case

amusement park

The biometric case filed against Six Flags Entertainment Corp., whose litigation path included an Illinois Supreme Court ruling, has been settled for up to $36 million.

The “notice of proposed class action settlement,” in Rosenbach v. Six Flags, which was first posted last week, states that Grand Prairie, Texas-based Six Flags Entertainment Corp. has agreed to settle the litigation filed by Stacy Rosenbach in 2014.

Ms. Rosenbach had charged in the lawsuit that Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, had failed to comply with Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act when it scanned her 14-year-old son’s thumb during a school field trip to the amusement park.

The Illinois law, which is referred to as BIPA, requires businesses that store biometric information to inform the subject in writing that it is being collected or stored and the purpose and duration for which it is being collected. It also requires that businesses receive the subject’s written consent.

The law creates a private right of action for individuals harmed by violations and imposes a $1,000 fine for each violation caused by negligence and a $5,000 fine for each intentional or reckless violation.

In 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court held that individuals need not allege injury or an adverse effect to successfully assert a violation of the act.

While Illinois was the first state to enact biometric legislation, other states, including California, Texas and Washington have followed, and others are considering such legislation, including Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts and New York.

The settlement notice states that Six Flags has agreed to pay up to $36 million without admitting fault or liability. The class comprises anyone who visited Six Flags Great America in Gurnee between Oct. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2018, and had their fingers scanned.

Under terms of the settlement, people who had a finger scanned when entering Six Flags Great America between Oct. 1, 2013, and April 30, 2016, can receive up to $200, payable in five installments. Those who had a finger scanned between May 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018, can receive up to $60, also payable in five installments.

A final approval hearing on the proposed settlement is scheduled for Oct 29 in state court in Waukegan, Illinois.

Six Flags did not respond to a request for comment.

In February, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco approved a proposed $650 million settlement of a case filed against Facebook Inc. under BIPA, in In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation.

In May, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed two lower court decisions and held that an insurer is obligated to defend a tanning salon that is being sued by a customer charging violation of the state’s biometric law.




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