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Chip_iStock_000005613425LargeBy Jeremy M. Creelan

On September 8, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a plaintiff’s proposed class claims under the Cable Communications Policy Act.  The plaintiff in Braitberg v. Charter Communications, Inc., asserted that Charter Communications had violated that Act and its own privacy policy by retaining certain Personally Identifiable Information or “PII” after he had cancelled his cable service.  The Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with the district court that the claims should be dismissed for a failure to allege “concrete” injury in fact.  The case is one of the first issued by lower courts since Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), which held that a mere violation of a statutory right without allegations of a concrete harm caused by such violation would not constitute sufficient injury in fact to satisfy Article III of the Constitution.  Here, the Court of Appeals reasoned, the named plaintiff had alleged such a statutory violation, but had not alleged any concrete harm such as disclosure of his PII to third parties or its otherwise improper use by Charter.  Accordingly, the Court affirmed the dismissal in reliance on Spokeo’s holding.  The opinion may be found here.