James Tysse Quoted on Uncertainty of Spokeo Case Following Death of Justice Scalia

James Tysse, a partner in the Supreme Court and appellate practice at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the Law360 article “Scalia’s Death Adds To Uncertainty In Class Standing Fight,” which discusses the possible outcomes for Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins et al., following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The case involves the issue of whether consumers can sue companies for technical statutory violations without alleging an actual injury.

In Spokeo, Robins had sued the people search engine for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by falsely reporting he was wealthy and had a graduate degree when, in fact, he was struggling to find work. During oral arguments in November, the article reports, the justices appeared divided on whether to uphold a finding by the 9th Circuit that plaintiffs do not need to allege actual injury to maintain statutory class action claims.

If there is a 4-4 tie when the Supreme Court rules, it would force the justices either to issue a decision without precedential value and affirm the Circuit Court ruling or relist the dispute to be heard again next term. Tysse said, “Companies have already been waiting for several years in this case, and rearguments next term would have that much greater of an impact on the class action bar and employers who are watching this case closely.”