OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE
PUBLICATION IN THE MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS REPORTS.
Circuit Court. LC No. 17-012847-CB.
ADAM NYMAN, SARA NYMAN, Plaintiffs-Appellants: MICHAEL J.
THOMSON REUTERS HOLDINGS INC, Defendant-Appellee: JOANNE GEHA
Before: K. F. KELLY, P.J., and TUKEL and REDFORD, JJ.
this putative class action primarily alleging violations of
the Social Security Number Privacy Act (SSNPA),
MCL 445.81 et seq., plaintiffs appeal as of right
the trial court's order dismissing their complaint
without prejudice. We affirm.
BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
allege in their complaint they discovered defendant listed
the first five digits of their social security numbers on the
" public records portal" of a webpage owned by
defendant available only to subscribers. Plaintiffs,
believing such actions by defendant violated the SSNPA,
submitted a written demand letter to defendant, requesting
removal of the information and payment of $5,000. Plaintiffs
did not allege any actual damages or harm in the letter but
requested $5,000 under MCL 445.86(2) because it
permitted collection of $1,000 per plaintiff in statutory
damages and reasonable attorney fees, which plaintiffs
calculated at $3,000. Defendant eventually denied any
violation of the SSNPA and refused to pay the requested
damages. Plaintiffs responded with this litigation in which
they alleged violations of the SSNPA, invasion of privacy,
and ordinary negligence.
lieu of answering the complaint, defendant moved for summary
disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(8) . Defendant argued that
plaintiffs failed to plead actual damages and failed to
comport with the presuit written demand procedure under
MCL 445.86(2), which required a description and
proof of the actual damages suffered. Defendant argued
further that plaintiffs could not establish that defendant
publicly displayed five digits of their social security
numbers as defined under MCL 445.82(d). Defendant
also made other arguments not relevant in this appeal
regarding plaintiffs' alleged failures to plead a claim
under the SSNPA. Respecting plaintiffs' alleged torts,
defendant argued that those claims required plaintiffs to
have pleaded some actual present injury to survive summary
disposition, which plaintiffs did not do. Defendant also
raised an array of other arguments regarding plaintiffs'
tort claims that are not relevant to this appeal.
countered that the SSNPA allowed them to elect statutory
damages of $1,000 as an alternative to pleading and proving
actual damages. Plaintiffs also asserted that they generally
plead injuries related to their tort claims sufficient to
survive summary disposition under the MCR 2.116(C)(8)
standard. The trial court agreed with defendant that
plaintiffs failed to properly plead as required by the SSNPA
and opined that defendant had not publicly displayed the
first five digits of their social security numbers. The trial
court granted defendant's motion for summary disposition
and dismissed plaintiffs' complaint without prejudice.
This appeal followed. For the reasons set forth below, we
STANDARD OF REVIEW
review de novo a circuit court's summary disposition
decision. Dalley v Dykema Gossett, 287 Mich.App.
296, 304; 788 N.W.2d 679 (2010). " A court may grant
summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(8) if the opposing
party has failed to state a claim on which relief can be
granted." Id. (quotation marks and brackets
omitted). " A motion brought under subrule
(C)(8) tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint
solely on the basis of the pleadings." Id.
(citation omitted). All well-pleaded factual allegations are
accepted as true and construed in a light most favorable to
the nonmoving party. Id. at 304-305 . " Summary
disposition on the basis of subrule (C)(8) should be granted
only when the claim is so clearly unenforceable as a matter
of law that no factual development could possibly justify a
right of ...