A Medford, Or., man who says his business was ruined after fingerprint mix-up suggested that he had been convicted of homicide has filed a class-action lawsuit against the state of Oregon and a company that makes digital fingerprint technology, reports The Oregonian. Miguel Espinoza was attempting to get his restaurant’s liquor license renewed in 2002 when Medford officials asked him about his conviction for criminally negligent homicide, said Charles Carreon, his attorney. Police later determined that Espinoza’s fingerprints had been mixed up with those of another man, Carreon said. But by then, people had stopped coming to Espinoza’s once-thriving restaurant.
Carreon blames Livescan, digital fingerprinting technology used in many Oregon counties, around the country, and by the Department of Homeland Security. The state “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 society,” Carreon said. Mark Molina, general counsel for Identix, the Minnesota-based firm that makes Livescan, would not comment because he had not seen the lawsuit. Carreon says state police are aware of nearly 100 fingerprint mix-ups in Lane County alone.