Woman sues second national chain over junk mail

A woman with a lawsuit against Michaels for allegedly using her Zip code to find out where she lived and bombard her with junk mail this week filed a similar lawsuit against Bed Bath and Beyond.

Melissa Tyler is seeking more than $5 million in a class-action suit, charging the way the chain collects and uses Zip codes from customers violates Massachusetts consumer-privacy laws.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Judicial Court - the state's highest - agreed with Tyler's basic contention that in an era of data mining, Zip codes were enough "personal identification information" to bar retailers from requiring them for credit-card purchases.

Because Tyler filed her lawsuit in federal court, the opinion does not mean Tyler automatically collects. However, the SJC considered the issue at the request of the federal judge hearing Tyler's case.

Within days of the SJC opinion, a second person sued Michaels over the same issue, also for more than $5 million.



    Free tagging: 



    I'm not sure how either of these suits will progress. If you voluntarily give up your zip code, then accuse them of violating your privacy? You can say "no" when they ask?

    Plus, BBB pretty much emails everyone, so how will she prove they sent fliers to her and no one else in her zip code?


    I get a BBB flyer about once a month

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    - even though the only times I've shopped there I paid with cash and didn't give my Zip Code. If that frequency constitutes being "inundated" with junk mail, then there's something seriously wrong with the legal system.

    Oh wait, the fact this case is actually being considered already proves that.


    I wonder if the plaintiff ever used any of the pretty decent coupons that generally come with those flyers, too. If so, I hope BBB can prove it and use it to get her case tossed.


    Driving Up Costs

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    This woman and her two cases (and the other person and their new case) are a prime example of how lawsuits drive up the cost of everything. $5 million suit for receiving junk mail!

    Bet we wouldn't have this if we had a loser pays provision in civil law. Puts a stop to these overinflated lawsuits brought by individuals and their slimy lawyers.

    We should also eliminate

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    punitive damages. If the plaintiff wins the case, pay legitmate costs incurred for legal and medical bills and the like. But just say no to the unjustified lottery payouts.

    And the minor inconvenience of having to throw out junk mail (which everyone I know receives) in no way justifies a $5 million handout.


    It's obviously not about the junk mail

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    The junk mail is not the problem; the junk mail is merely a symptom of the problem. The problem is that the business is, without the customer's consent, obtaining and storing and using personal information about the customer. The business is knowingly breaking the law; the law gives the customer the right to recover significant damages; I see no problem with that.

    The junk mail is like muddy footprints: If someone breaks into my house, and the muddy footprints he leaves allows the police to identify him, and if I sue him for $100,000 damages because I don't particularly like having my house broken into, would you be saying "Hey, $100,000 is a lot to pay for the inconvenience of mopping up some mud?"

    Instead, eliminate breaking the law

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    Because THAT is what this is about.

    Large corporations breaking the law and getting away with it.

    All your "eliminate this or that" whining talking points from Glen Beck et al does is make it EASIER TO BREAK THE LAW AND GET AWAY WITH IT.

    Aiding and abetting criminals - that's what your "ideas" are all about.


    Meanwhile how many federal

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    Meanwhile how many federal employees haven't paid their taxes? Laws are for the little people m-kay....

    I've neve shopped at BBB

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    and I get lots of junk mail from them. How can she prove it was from her zip code?