The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that an inaccurate consumer report established concrete injury sufficient to confer standing to sue in federal court. On remand from a prior Supreme Court appeal, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision on August 15, 2017 finding that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects consumers from harm to their reputation and privacy interests. The court further held that publishing false information in a credit report can itself constitute concrete harm. Specifically, the court found that by producing an inaccurate credit report, the defendant had distributed a materially inaccurate report resulting in injury to the plaintiff.
Through this decision, the Ninth Circuit applied an expansive interpretation of standing to sue in federal court. Although the original case was filed in California, the ruling applies equally to consumers here in Las Vegas/Henderson and throughout Nevada as we are within the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction. As a result, consumers in Nevada are permitted to bring claims against credit bureaus and lenders who report inaccurate information on their credit reports whether or not the consumers have experienced monetary damages like loan denials, out-of-pocket expenses, or increase in interest rates.
Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit found that having an inaccurate and misleading credit reporting is damaging enough to a consumer’s privacy and reputational interest to warrant a lawsuit to remedy this harm. If you have experienced inaccurate credit reporting, you may be entitled to damages under the FCRA, correction of the inaccurate reporting, and payment of your attorney’s fees and costs.
A Las Vegas lab tech was sentenced to two years in prison this week for unlawfully obtaining the personal information of patients to open personal credit cards. The tech, who worked at Children's Heart Center in Las Vegas, accessed the personal information of patient's parents through the center's records and used the center's computers to apply for multiple credit accounts.
As discussed in previous posts, identity theft has hit a record high in the U.S. with over 15.4 million cases reported in 2016 causing approximately $16 billion in losses. As a result, it is important for Las Vegas consumers to protect their identity by keeping personal documents secure, regularly checking credit reports, and only disclosing personal information when absolutely necessary.