(CN) – A lawsuit accusing American Multi-Cinema of illegally printing too many credit card digits on movie theater receipts could proceed as a class action after the 9th Circuit rejected a lower court’s grounds for denying class certification.
Lead plaintiff Michael Bateman accused AMC of violating the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) by printing more than the last five digits of consumers’ credit or debit card numbers on its theater receipts.
The class sought damages of $100 to $1,000 for each violation, exposing AMC to a potential liability of $29 million to $290 million.
A federal judge refused to certify the class, noting that AMC had made a good-faith effort to change the practice and that the magnitude of AMC’s potential liability was enormous and out of proportion to the alleged harm suffered.
But a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit reversed, ruling that the potential size of the award doesn’t matter when it comes to class certification under FACTA.
“Nothing in the plain text of the statute … suggests that Congress intended to place a cap on potentially enormous statutory awards or to otherwise limit the ability of individuals to seek compensation,” Judge Richard Paez wrote for the Pasadena-based panel.