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Record Verdict for Consumers Under Fair Credit Reporting Act

Just a few short weeks ago, the Northern District of California awarded the plaintiffs in the case of Ramirez v. Trans Union LLC, $60 million after holding that the defendant, credit reporting agency Trans Union, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  To date, this is the largest amount awarded by a jury to a consumer for violations of this statute.  

Merging of Credit Reports

In the case of Ramirez v. Trans Union the central issue was that Trans Union had merged the plaintiff’s (and other members of the class) credit report with another consumer.  When a creditor requested a copy of the plaintiff’s report from Trans Union, Trans Union provided this merged file and was mistakenly reporting that the plaintiff was erroneously included on a list of suspicious persons, including terrorists and drug traffickers and prohibited by doing business in the United States and prohibited from being approved for any type of credit.  Unbeknownst to plaintiff, Trans Union was reporting this information that was actually about another consumer that had a same or similar name, but his report had been merged with the plaintiff. 

3 FCRA Violations by Trans Union

In plaintiff’s complaint against Trans Union, he argued that Trans Union violated three provisions of the FCRA.  First, Trans Union failed to follow reasonable procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of the information contained in its files. Second, Trans Union failed to disclose all of the information contained in the plaintiff’s report upon his request. Lastly, Trans Union failed to provide plaintiff with a summary of his rights under the FCRA as required by the statute. 

What the Plaintiff Was Awarded

At trial, the jury held that Trans Union violated all three of the FCRA provisions alleged by the plaintiff.  The plaintiff and the other members of the class were awarded just under $1,000 in statutory damages, the maximum amount, and another $6,000 plus in punitive damages, bringing the total amount owed by Trans Union to a record breaking $60 million.

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Violating the FCRA is serious business.  Taking advantage of consumers’ rights under the statute can mean a large financial penalty.  A $60 million payout, even for a credit reporting giant like Trans Union, can be crippling.  If you believe your rights have been violated under the FCRA and you would like the advice or assistance of counsel, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.  

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