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Date: 05-05-2023

Case Style:

Glen Morgan v. Twitter, Inc.

Case Number: 2:22-CV-122

Judge: Mary K. Dinke

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Spokane County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Thomas King-Sun Fu

Description: Spokane, Washington personal injury lawyer represented Plaintiff who sued Defendant claiming violation of his privacy rights.

Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant unlawfully obtained his and other users' cell phone numbers which he and other users register with a Twitter account and then sold that information to third-party advertisers from which Defendant illegally profited.

“Article III [of the Constitution] confines the federal judicial power to the resolution of ‘Cases' and ‘Controversies.'” TransUnion, 141 S.Ct. at 2203. A case or controversy under Article III requires a plaintiff to “have a ‘personal stake' in the case-in other words, standing.” Id. (quoting Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811, 819 (1997)). Article III standing requires a showing “(i) that [the plaintiff] suffered an injury in fact that is concrete, particularized, and actual or imminent; (ii) that the injury was likely caused by the defendant; and (iii) that the injury would likely be redressed by judicial relief.” Id.

1. TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez

In TransUnion, the Supreme Court reiterated its holding in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 578 U.S. 330 (2016) (“SpokeoII”): a plaintiff's injury in fact must be concrete. 141 S.Ct. at 2204. A plaintiff's injury must be “real, and not abstract.” Spokeo II, 578 U.S. at 340. “[C]ertain harms readily qualify as concrete injuries under Article III.” TransUnion, 141 S.Ct. at 2204. These include “traditional tangible harms, such as physical harms and monetary harms.” Id. Intangible harms may also be concrete. Id. However, to be concrete, intangible injuries must


be shown to have “a close relationship to harms traditionally recognized as providing a basis for lawsuits in American courts.” Id. The Supreme Court outlined examples of federally recognized intangible concrete harms. Id. They include reputational harms, disclosure of private information, and intrusion upon seclusion. Id. (citing Meese v. Keene, 481 U.S. 465, 473 (1987) (reputational harms); Davis v. Fed. Election Comm n, 554 U.S. 724, 733 (2008) (disclosure of private information); Gadelhak v. AT&T Servs., Inc., 950 F.3d 458, 462 (7th Cir. 2020) (intrusion upon seclusion)). Importantly, an intangible harm must have caused a plaintiff an injury in fact, not solely an injury in law. Id. at 2205-06. Justice Kavanaugh posed the following hypothetical to demonstrate the difference between an injury in fact and an injury in law:

Suppose first that a Maine citizen's land is polluted by a nearby factory. She sues the company, alleging that it violated a federal environmental law and damaged her property. Suppose also that a second plaintiff in Hawaii files a federal lawsuit alleging that the same company in Maine violated that same environmental law by polluting land in Maine. The violation did not personally harm the plaintiff in Hawaii.

Id. at 2205. The hypothetical statute provides a cause of action for both plaintiffs, yet only the Maine citizen has Article III standing because she suffered an injury in fact, i.e., her polluted land. Id. at 2206.

Outcome: Motion to remand denied.

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