The $50 million settlement of a class action suit by Florida motorists against West Palm Beach-based Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust could be the first of several big payouts by companies accused of illegally buying driver’s license data from the state of Florida.

Lawyers for the 565,000 class members in the case, James Kehoe v. Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust, alleged that Fidelity purchased the names and addresses of new vehicle owners from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in violation of the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act. The purchases occurred from 2000 until the suit was filed in July 2003, and involved vehicle owners in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

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