The putative class action, Guzman v. RLI Corp, et al., was filed in the Central District of California, Western Division on September 10, 2020. The class is potentially 30,000 or more people, mostly brown and black minorities, who were placed at risk of great harm when RLI Insurance violated a federal court order and published login credentials to a database containing their personal, private information.
WHAT: DAY 9 of protests at RLI Insurance Company, to demand that the company immediately take corrective action to rectify their breach which has that placed immigrants at risk of potential bodily harm and other safety risks. A new lawsuit alleges that RLI Corp and RLI Insurance, and ten John Doe Defendants, violated THE STORED COMMUNICATIONS ACT, THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT, INVASION OF PRIVACY, AND CALIFORNIA’S CONSUMER PRIVACY ACT OF 2018 in a data breach exposing tens of thousands of immigrants to potential harm.
WHO: Jose Guzman, Soy Libre Director
Bishop Frank Jackson, United Council of World Ministries
Annese Jackson, Americans Resisting Minority & Ethnic Discrimination
Chama St. Louis Mayoral Candidate City of Peoria
WHEN: September 17, 2020
WHERE: Headquarters of RLI Insurance Company
9025 N Lindbergh Drive
Peoria, IL 61615
Peoria, IL – September 17, 2020 – Jose Guzman, an immigrant from Honduras who is fighting to remain in the country with his American citizen wife and children, is facing a new unexpected battle with a private insurance company in Peoria, IL. In his complaint, Guzman v. RLI Corp et. al, RLI is accused of violating a court order and exposing tens of thousands of immigrants and many more thousands of their family members to potential harm or even death at the hands of criminals or gang members. Guzman and his wife are California residents who traveled to Peoria to stand up to the Goliath of RLI so that their information, and the information of so many other minorities, can be protected from unauthorized disclosure.
Jose Guzman, the plaintiff and Director of Soy Libre, an advocacy group for immigrants released from detention on bail, has said of the suit: “My wife and I are here because RLI hurt us. I am a human being, not a commodity for a billion-dollar corporation to trade around like a stock. RLI doesn’t care that they hurt me, or they would make it right. This lawsuit will make sure they have to make it right.”
Lilliana Cruz, Jose’s wife, added: “I live in fear every day that I will have to watch my husband ripped away from me again, away from our beautiful children. This company’s callous actions have terrorized my family and we were never even a customer of theirs. People need to know when a company like this violates court orders and hurts hundreds of thousands of people. Can you expect that RLI will keep your information safe?”
RLI Insurance Company sent an email from their General Counsel, Mr. Fick, to Mr. Guzman in the afternoon of September 10 asserting that his information was never compromised. However, in a letter dated the same day, Libre by Nexus (the company who’s database information was published) announced they were in fact investigating a “suspicious login” to one of their customer databases and proceeding as if the data had been breached.
Annese Jackson, the Executive Managing Director of Americans Resisting Minority & Ethnic Discrimination, said in a recent press conference, “RLI can’t be trusted to keep information secure, and unfortunately it seems they don’t even care about telling the truth and fixing their mistake. Corporate bullies have no place in our America and no place in the beautiful city of Peoria. The community of Peoria along with the nationwide clientele of RLI needs to stand up and demand RLI be accountable for their actions and right the harms they have caused.
Soy Libre is an organization of immigrants who have been released from immigration custody and who unite to support other immigrants working through similar challenges. The mission of Soy Libre is to serve arriving immigrants by providing support and education to immigrants across the US, particularly those released on immigration bonds.
Chama St. Louis believes, “Cities like Peoria should value, respect, celebrate, and encourage the contributions of immigrants through their work, cultural and social contributions, and civic leadership. The relationship between immigrants and the city should be strengthened to build trust. No Peorian should fear contacting the city for any reason including law enforcement, regardless of their immigration status. Immigrants should be able to access city services and programs the same as any other resident and have the same opportunities to flourish and be successful. Chama supports a Welcoming City ordinance for Peoria.