March 03, 2014 Category: Commercial Litigation
Privacy is important to most Americans. This has become a pivotal issue in American society in the midst of the rise of the NSA and the Edward Snowden scandal. Now, Google is being accused of invading the privacy of its users, including many people in Michigan. The company is now facing business litigation that may become a class-action lawsuit.
The plaintiffs in the case are accusing Google of scanning its users’ emails over a period of five years. The lawsuit is asking the court to order the company to pay each user who had been affected by the alleged improper data mining. The legal complaint is asking for $100 per each day during this time period to each user affected. This would include anybody who had sent or received an email message from the web company’s Gmail service.
However, the judge in the case has warned the plaintiffs that it may be difficult to successfuly argue that the case should move forward as a class action. Also, the defendant web company counters that, if the litigation is granted class-action status, it would include more than 400 million people utilizing Gmail as well as Google Apps. The company says that obtaining the necessary data for an investigation would be beyond the capability of the court and the parties involved.
On the other hand, if the business litigation case does move forward as a class action, the company will still have the opportunity to defend itself in the court of law. This is available to any defendant company in a lawsuit in Michigan or in any other state. However, in order for a defendant business to prevail, the company will have to present a strong legal argument based upon the facts of the specific situation.
Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, Class-action Gmail lawsuit seeks trillions, Eric Van Susteren, Feb. 28, 2014