Fingerprint Misidentification Victims File Class Action Lawsuit Against Identix, Oregon and Top State Law Enforcement Officials

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Two class action plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit against Identix, the manufacturer of a computer with the ominous name "Livescan" that poses the potential for an epidemic of false convictions that has already put innocent people in jail.

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Miguel Espinoza lost his restaurant due to false homicide conviction - Southern Oregon restaurant owners Miguel and Lilia Espinoza are the class plaintiffs. They filed their complaint on behalf of themselves and other class members on July 12, 2004. Miguel and Lilia Espinoza had a thriving business on a main business street in Medford, Oregon. That is, thriving until the local newspaper reported that he had been convicted of homicide and sent to prison. Mrs. Espinoza said, "People just stopped coming to the restaurant. Some people came in to tell me they were sorry my husband was in prison, but nobody came by to order food. Business just died."

Problem Already Known to Oregon State Police

The Espinoza's lawyer, Charles Carreon, says, "The OSP has known about the problem in their criminal history database since 1998, but they are concealing the problem to avoid liability, even as more innocent people fall victims to a nightmare scenario." The OSP knew about the problem, Carreon said, because on August 2, 2002, he obtained a verdict in the Portland, Oregon downtown courthouse for Roger Benson, a California man who was wrongfully imprisoned in a California jail during August and September 1999 for 43 days. "The State of Oregon was held liable for over $300,000 in damages by the jury, and OSP personnel testified at trial that the problem had been fixed years before. But if the problem had been fixed, Mr. Espinoza wouldn't have the same problem."

Product Liability Claims Alleged Against Identix and the State of Oregon

The problem, Carreon says, "begins with the Livescan machine giving two people the same fingerprint control number, and ends with the State of Oregon creating false criminal histories that are forwarded to the FBI and all fifty states." As a result, "one person, like Mr. Benson or Mr. Espinoza, is reported to local police as a felon, resulting in identity-theft by the State!" The Livescan is a defective product, and both Identix and the State of Oregon are putting it into the stream of commerce. "The courts force people to be fingerprinted on these defective machines, then charge them for the privilege of having their prints put into a database that they know has lots of false information circulating through it." Multnomah County Circuit Court Case No. 0407-07135.


Email or call 541-840-2798 to contact Mr. Carreon. To view the Complaint, visit .

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