Sapientia attorneys settle portions of invasion of privacy lawsuit involving police abuse of Minnesota driver’s license database for over $1,000,000.
UPDATE: Ms. Rasmusson’s story has been featured on NBC’s TODAY show.
Sapientia Law Group attorneys Larry Fett, Jonathan Strauss, Sonia Miller-Van Oort and Kenn Fukuda settled portions of a federal lawsuit against various municipalities and their law-enforcement personnel on behalf of their client, Anne Rasmusson. The former Eden Prairie and St. Paul Police officer had her private personal driver’s license information unlawfully accessed by approximately 144 officers from 23 law-enforcement agencies on 554 occasions since 2005.
The information on drivers’ licenses is protected by a federal statutes, the Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act, which provides for civil and criminal penalties for misuse of the system. The League of Minnesota Cities settled with Ms. Rasmusson for $280,000 on behalf of 16 municipalities and its officers, the City of St. Paul paid $385,000 to settle the matter, and the City of Minneapolis paid $392,500. Ms. Rasmusson still maintains claims against several counties and state actors and the current and former Commissioners of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety who, she alleges, established and maintained the system that was supposed to protect the private information of Ms. Rasmusson and all citizens of the State.
As NBC national correspondent Kevin Tibbles reported, this invasion-of-privacy case is one of the biggest privacy breaches by law enforcement in history.
Ms. Rasmusson’s case has also been featured in an editorial in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.