In August of 2013, four computers of Advocate Health and Hospitals Corporation (Advocate Health) were stolen from one of its offices. The computers contained the names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, diagnoses, Medicare and Medicaid information and diagnosis codes of approximately 4 million patients.

Several class action cases were filed against Advocate Health following the breach and the cases were dismissed by the trial courts for lack of standing as the plaintiffs had failed to establish an injury in fact. The dismissals were appealed.

On June 2, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the dismissal of the suits stating “[H]ere, plaintiffs’ allegations of injury are clearly speculative, and, therefore, they lack standing to bring suit.” The Court further held that the allegations of injury set forth in the Complaints, including an increased risk of identity theft are speculative and conclusory as the plaintiffs did not allege that they actually were the victims of identity theft. Illinois law requires the showing of a “distinct and palpable injury” in order to move forward with a claim.

This holding is consistent with other standing cases that have been decided in both federal and state court cases, and expands the precedent in this area.