A Baltimore County man who sued Kooper's Tavern and Poncabird Pub over an obscure identity law has voluntarily dropped the lawsuits. A lawsuit against the Middle River bar Catches stands.
In September, Ronald L. Bradley, of Baltimore County, sued The Fells Point bar and Poncabird Pub in East Baltimore, as well as Catches, for printing the expiration date of his credit in sales receipts.
He claimed that was in violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, a federal law that aims to prevent identity theft.
In three separate complaints, he pointed to four instances when the bars included the dates in sales receipts and he sought damages of at least $1,000 for each violation in addition to attorneys' fees.
The federal law, when passed, was hailed by consumer advocates because it rooted out a serious problem - sales receipts that revealed too much private information about consumers. With its strong consumer rights, it led to many lawsuits against businesses.
But after Congress amended the law in 2007 and made it more explicit, litigation stalled. Bradley's lawsuit was one of the first in years, consumer advocates said.
At consumer rights groups - like Consumer Action and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group - experts said Bradley's lawsuit could shed light on an obscure portion of the much broader federal law. But, they warned that his case had some weaknesses.
For starters, the threat of fraud from printing an expiration date on a sales receipt without also including a full credit card number is small.
If that's why Bradley dropped the lawsuits, his motions to dismiss - filed October 20 for the Kooper's lawsuit; November 2 for Poncabird - don't say.