Class Action Dismissed: Expiration Date Receipt Disclosure
A consumer’s class action against Shoe Carnival Inc. recently was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for failure to show any facts that the company violated the Federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act’s (FACTA) amendment to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In Nicaj v. Shoe Carnival Inc., the consumer claimed the company violated the acts when it included his credit card’s expiration month alone on a receipt at the point of sale. The FCRA prohibits printing debit or credit card expiration dates (as well as full card numbers) on any receipt. Previous to this suit, the law was unsettled as to whether printing either the month or the year of expiration alone is a violation of the act. The court determined, among other things, that the plain meaning of the term “expiration date” includes both day and year, in support of which the court pointed out that both are required to complete a transaction. The court also found it reasonable for the company to believe itself in compliance with the act by printing only partial expiration information.
Absent a showing of actual damages, the court found that the retailer’s actions were not willful, which ultimately led to the dismissal of the case. While the facts of the case involve debit cards, the case serves as a reminder of the FACTA requirements, not just with respect to the threat of class action lawsuits, but also with respect to potential identity theft and fraud.