In The United States District Court For The Eastern District of Pennsylania
John Doe Plaintiff, v. Trans Union, LLC Defendant.
1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer, John Doe, against Trans Union, LLC for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (hereinafter the “FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., as amended.
2. Plaintiff John Doe is an adult individual residing in Pennsylvania 19130.
3. Defendant, Trans Union, LLC (“Trans Union”), is a credit reporting business which regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 1510 Chester Pike, Crum Lynne, PA 19022.
JURISDICTION & VENUE
4. Jurisdiction of this Court arises under 15 U.S.C. § 1681p and 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
5. Venue lies properly in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
6. Defendant has been reporting derogatory and inaccurate statements and credit information relating to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s credit history to third parties for at least thirteen years through 2010 (hereafter the “inaccurate information”).
7. The inaccurate information includes, but is not limited to, the reporting of Plaintiff as “deceased.”
8. Defendant failed to avoid the reporting of the inaccurate deceased remark, and failed to follow any reasonable procedure that would avoid an inaccurate deceased remark from appearing on Plaintiff’s credit report in this case.
9. Despite other data on the face of Plaintiff’s consumer report indicating that he is not deceased, and despite contacts from Plaintiff to Trans Union, Defendant employed no procedures to assure Plaintiff is actually deceased before placing the “deceased” remark on his report.
10. Once a “deceased” mark is placed on Plaintiff’s report, Defendant will not calculate and will not provide a credit score for him.
11. Nevertheless, Defendant continued to sell Plaintiff’s credit report to third parties with no credit score, despite a request by the purchaser of the report for his credit score.
12. Defendant further has failed to disclose to Plaintiff the source of the “deceased” information when Plaintiff requests a copy of his credit file.
13. Defendant knows that third party creditors use a credit score in order to process a given credit application and many third party creditors require a credit score. Defendant knows that consumers without credit scores are unable to secure any credit from most credit furnishers. Yet Defendant employs no procedures which assure that a consumer marked as “deceased” on one of Defendant’s reports is, in fact, deceased. Nor does Defendant employ any procedure to limit or stop the furnishing of reports to third parties for consumers which it has marked as “deceased.”
14. Defendant charges third parties a fee for reports with a mark that a consumer is deceased as it would for any other reports.
15. Defendant profits from the sale of reports on the deceased.
16. Defendant knows that truly deceased consumers do not apply for credit. Defendant knows that the credit information and reports of truly deceased person are used by criminals to commit identity theft or credit fraud. Defendant knows that identity theft and credit fraud are serious and widespread problems in our society. Yet Defendant sells reports on the deceased to third parties without question, knowing that such reports contain a vast amount of personal identifying and credit account information on the supposedly deceased consumer, information that can be used in identity theft or for other fraudulent purposes.
17. The inaccurate information negatively reflects upon the Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s credit worthiness.
18. Trans Union has been reporting the inaccurate information through the issuance of false and inaccurate credit information and consumer credit reports that it has disseminated to various persons and credit grantors, both known and unknown, through 2010.
19. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Trans Union on several occasions, most recently in or around July 2010.
20. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s efforts, Trans Union has sent Plaintiff correspondence which fails to correct the inaccurate information or even to address the account dispute made by Plaintiff. Nevertheless, Trans Union continues to publish and disseminate such inaccurate information to other third parties, persons, entities and credit grantors. Trans Union has repeatedly published and disseminated consumer reports to such third parties through 2010. In the August and September 2010 credit report that Trans Union sent to Plaintiff it fails to disclose the inaccurate information to him, even though it sells the same to third parties.
21. Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Trans Union has never: (1) contacted Plaintiff to follow up on, verify and/or elicit more specific information about Plaintiff’s disputes; (2) contacted any non-furnisher third parties that would have relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s disputes; or (3) forwarded any relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s disputes to the entities originally furnishing the inaccurate information.
22. Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Defendant has deliberately, willfully, intentionally, recklessly and negligently repeatedly failed to follow procedures that would correct the inaccurate information and permanently remove the inaccurate deceased remark from Plaintiff’s credit file and report.
23. Plaintiff’s credit reports and file have been obtained from Trans Union and have been reviewed by prospective and existing credit grantors and extenders of credit, and the inaccurate information has been a substantial factor in precluding Plaintiff from receiving credit offers and opportunities, known and unknown.
24. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of lost credit opportunities.
25. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of mental pain and anguish, humiliation and embarrassment, and Plaintiff will continue to suffer the same for an indefinite time in the future, all to Plaintiff’s great detriment and loss.
26. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of injury to credit rating and reputation, the complete loss of his credit score, and Plaintiff will continue to suffer the same for an indefinite time in the future, all to Plaintiff’s great detriment and loss.
27. At all times pertinent hereto, Defendant was acting by and through its agents, servants and/or employees who were acting within the course and scope of their agency or employment, and under the direct supervision and control of the Defendant herein.
28. At all times pertinent hereto, the conduct of the Defendant, as well as that of its agents, servants and/or employees, was malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, and in grossly negligent disregard for federal and state laws and the rights of the Plaintiff herein.
COUNT I – TRANS UNION – VIOLATIONS OF THE FCRA
29. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
30. At all times pertinent hereto, Trans Union was a “person” and “consumer reporting agency” as those terms are defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b) and (f).
31. At all times pertinent hereto, Plaintiff was a “consumer” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(c).
32. At all times pertinent hereto, the above-mentioned credit reports were “consumer reports” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(d).
33. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1681n and 15 U.S.C. §1681o, Trans Union is liable to the Plaintiff for engaging in the following conduct:
(a) willfully and negligently failing to timely and properly reinvestigate the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute from the Plaintiff and to timely delete the inaccurate information, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681i;
(b) willfully and negligently failing to employ and follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff’s credit report, information and file, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b);
(c) willfully and negligently failing to employ and follow reasonable procedures to assure that reports are sold only for legitimate “permissible purposes,” in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(a); and
(d) willfully and negligently failing to disclose to Plaintiff all information in Plaintiff’s credit file and the source of the information, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1861g(a).
34. The conduct of Trans Union was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, actual damages and harm to Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Trans Union is liable to Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with the attorneys’ fees and the costs of litigation, as well as such further relief, as may be permitted by law.
JURY TRIAL DEMAND
35. Plaintiff demands trial by jury on all issues so triable.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff seeks judgment in Plaintiff’s favor and damages against the Defendant, based on the following requested relief:
(a) Statutory damages;
(b) Actual damages;
(c) Punitive damages;
(d) Costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n & 1681o; and
(e) Such other and further relief as may be necessary, just and proper.
FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.
BY: /s/ John Soumilas
JOHN SOUMILAS, ESQUIRE
GREGORY GORSKI, ESQUIRE
Land Title Building, 19th Floor
100 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19110
Dated: October 1, 2010 Attorneys for Plaintiff