Magazine article Security Management

U.S. Judicial Decisions

Magazine article Security Management

U.S. Judicial Decisions

Article excerpt

DATA SECURITY. A federal appeals court has ruled that customers cannot sue a bank for future damages that might occur due to lax data security. The court determined that the customers had no grounds to sue because they had not yet suffered any damages.

In the case, Old National Bancorp, based in Indiana, notified its customers that a security breach had occurred and that personal information might have been compromised. The customers filed a lawsuit claiming that the data breach had resulted in emotional distress and caused them to take steps to protect their information. These steps, argued the customers, cost money and the financial bur den will continue in the future because of the bank's failure to address security concerns. However, the customers admitted that they had not suffered any direct losses from the data breach.

In compensation, the customers requested reimbursement for the actions taken to protect their information and funds to purchase credit monitoring services for the future.

The court found that the customers' claims were invalid because the law cannot act on a plaintiff's fear of future losses. In the written opinion of the case, the court noted that "without more than allegations of increased risk of future identity theft, the plaintiffs have not suffered a harm that the law is prepared to remedy." (Pisciotta v. Old National Bancorp, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 06-3817, 2007)

RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION. A federal appeals court has ruled that a pharmacy did not discriminate against a pharmacist when it required him to refer patients and doctors requesting contraceptives to another pharmacist. The court ruled that the pharmacy had already accommodated the employee and that further accommodation would constitute an undue hardship.

In July 2005, the managers of a WalMart store in Onalaska, Wisconsin, hired a temporary pharmacist through a staffing agency, Medical Staffing Network. The staffing company recommended Nell Noesen. However, Noesen was operating under a restricted license because he re fused to fill or refer to another pharmacy any prescriptions for contraceptives. Under the licensing restriction, Noesen was required to notify any potential employers of this circumstance.

Noesen wrote a letter to the pharmacy supervisor, Robert Overton, explaining that he would not be involved in any activity related to contraceptives. In response to the letter, Overton agreed that Noesen was excused from filling prescriptions for contraceptives as well as taking orders for, handing out, or performing checks on, such prescriptions. …

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