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Samantha Duke of RumbergerKirk. Courtesy photo Samantha Duke of RumbergerKirk. Courtesy photo

The U.S. Supreme Court on March 31 held oral arguments in a case that may have a significant impact on the ability to certify a class action seeking statutory damages.

Article III of the U.S. Constitution limits a federal court’s power to grant relief, requiring that a plaintiff prove that he suffered concrete harm or certainly impending harm. In 2016, the Supreme Court held in Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016) that a bare statutory violation does not satisfy Article III’s injury-in-fact requirement. However, as Justice Samuel Alito put it during oral argument in the TransUnion case, “Spokeo’s discussion of harm is quite clipped.” In fact, since Spokeo, many federal courts have inconsistently applied the Supreme Court’s reasoning in determining what degree of harm, or threat of likelihood of harm, is sufficient to be deemed “concrete.”

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