A class action lawsuit was recently filed against Darden Restaurants, Inc. (“Darden”), alleging that Darden violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”).

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Darden, which includes Olive Garden among its restaurant chains, violated FACTA by printing the full expiration date on credit card receipts, allowing potential identity thieves to readily discern whether the card is still active and narrow their focus to more viable targets. Plaintiffs alleged they suffered actual harm by asserting that they are now “burdened with elevated risks of identity theft” and because a “portion of the sale from the credit or debit transaction is intended to protect consumer data.” The plaintiffs are seeking statutory damages and injunctive relief.

Among other requirements, FACTA prohibits businesses from printing more than five digits of a customer’s card number or the card expiration date on any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of sale or transaction.

The lawsuit in Florida federal court follows an earlier 2007 lawsuit brought against the company in Illinois.

Takeaway: Identity theft is a serious issue affecting both consumers and businesses. Plaintiffs are still taking advantage of FACTA claims, and businesses should be proactive in their compliance efforts in order to avoid costly litigation.