Defending a BIPA class action suit. Biometric information includes an individual’s details such as fingerprints, voiceprints, facial scans or retinal scans; and privacy laws protect how the information is collected, used or stored by an entity. (Photo: Konstantin Postumitenko/

In West Bend Mutual Insurance Company v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., [2021 IL 125978] the Illinois Supreme Court held that West Bend owed a duty to defend its insured, a tanning salon, against a class-action lawsuit alleging the salon violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The Court found that the duty to defend was owed due to the language of the insured’s business owner’s policy, which provided coverage for lawsuits alleging “personal injury” or “advertising injury.” The ruling could have significant ramifications for carriers given the growing prevalence of BIPA class-action lawsuits and the resulting settlements.

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