Actual Damages Missing in FCRA Case: Bagby

David A. Szwak

Actual Damages Missing in FCRA Case: Bagby

Postby David A. Szwak » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:31 pm

Bagby v. Experian Information Solutions,
Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 1244113, N.D.Ill., Jun 07, 2004

Even if Experian's procedures following receipt of Bagby's letter could be found unreasonable, Bagby's claim would still fail because she has not shown that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether she suffered any actual damages. In her complaint, Bagby claims that she was damaged by having to incur expenses associated with disputing the information, she suffered emotional distress associated with having incorrect derogatory personal information about her reported to others, and she was given a decreased credit score which may prevent her from getting credit. However, Bagby has failed to offer any evidence as to how the information regarding the Sears and Discover accounts (which were not reported as past due or late) had any negative effect on her credit rating. And Bagby has offered no evidence of emotional distress resulting from Experian's reporting of the accounts, as distinguished from her mother's allegedly unauthorized opening of accounts in Bagby's name. See Def's Rule 56.1 Statement ¶¶ 41-43; Pl's Resp. to Def's Rule 56.1 Statement ¶¶ 41-43.

Finally, the only out of pocket expenses Bagby claims are the fees she paid to obtain copies of her credit report to check for inaccuracies and the cost of having to pay the balance on the Discover account in order to keep it current. However, Bagby's requests for copies of her credit report were made even before she initially alerted Experian that she disputed the Sears and Discover accounts. As previously discussed, as a matter of law, Experian cannot be held liable prior to having been informed of Bagby's dispute. And Bagby's voluntary decision to pay the balance on the account cannot reasonably be said to have been caused by Experian's reporting of the account. See Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Info. Sys., No. 03 C 0683, 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 23647, at *16 (N.D.Ill.Dec. 31, 2003).

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