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Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

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Horvitz & Levy represented defendant Ford on appeal after the district court had dismissed plaintiffs’ claims. We secured a published decision clarifying that plaintiffs’ statutory privacy claims were meritless.

Ford manufactures vehicles with infotainment systems that allow drivers to use their phones hands-free. Plaintiffs alleged that the infotainment system automatically copies and stores the call logs and text messages of any connected phone. Those logs and texts remain in the vehicle’s onboard memory and allegedly cannot be accessed or deleted by vehicle owners or users. Plaintiffs filed a class action in Washington state court claiming their rights under the Washington Privacy Act were violated when their private communications were unlawfully recorded. Ford removed the action to federal court, then successfully moved to dismiss it on the merits.

On appeal, Horvitz & Levy persuaded the Ninth Circuit that plaintiffs had alleged an Article III injury (defeating Plaintiffs’ request for a remand), but had not alleged a statutory injury (defeating their claims on the merits). Plaintiffs’ complaint established an Article III injury because the Privacy Act codifies common-law privacy rights, violations of which are concrete injuries sufficient to confer standing. But on the merits, the Privacy Act requires more—a plaintiff must show an injury to his business, person, or reputation—which plaintiffs here could not satisfy because the logs and texts stored on the infotainment system were essentially inaccessible. The Ninth Circuit held that an invasion of privacy, without more, is insufficient to meet the statutory injury requirement.