MONTH-IN-BRIEF (Feb 2023)
Illinois Supreme Court Holds 5-Year Statute of Limitations for Violations Applies to BIPA
By Alan S. Wernick, Esq., Aronberg Goldgehn
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) (740 ILCS 14/1) became effective in October 2008. In Tims v. Black Horse Carriers, Inc., 2023 IL 127801 (February 2, 2023), the Illinois Supreme Court was asked to determine the applicable statute of limitations for BIPA violations. The Court held that the Illinois five-year catch-all statute of limitations (735 ILCS 5/13-205 – Five year limitation) applies to BIPA violations.
Defendant argued that the 735 ILCS 5/13-201 (Defamation – Privacy) one year statute of limitation should apply to parts of BIPA and the five year statute of limitations to other parts. In its statutory interpretation analysis, the Court states, in part: “Because statutes should be interpreted with the presumption that the legislature ‘did not intend absurd, inconvenient, or unjust consequences’ when enacting the statute, we will not apply two different statutes of limitations to the Act.” (Citations omitted.) In holding that the five year statute of limitations applies, the Court notes “This would also further our goal of ensuring certainty and predictability in the administration of limitations periods that apply to causes of actions under the Act [BIPA].”