What is Reasonableness? Test, Burden: McKeown v. Sears

Maximum Possible Accuracy
David A. Szwak

What is Reasonableness? Test, Burden: McKeown v. Sears

Postby David A. Szwak » Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:19 pm

McKeown v. Sears Roebuck & Co.
335 F.Supp.2d 917
Jul 28, 2004

In addition, defendants note that plaintiff's wife may have been responsible for the activity in plaintiff's other account, as these other accounts were held jointly. Although there may have been a reasonable explanation for the other activity, it is not clear whether it was reasonable for defendants to have assumed that plaintiff's wife was responsible, particularly in light of the fact that no other creditor had reported plaintiff as deceased. In determining what is reasonable under the circumstances, the jury must weigh the burden on the credit reporting agencies against the cost to the plaintiff of the potential error. Crabill, 259 F.3d at 664; see also Stewart v. Credit Bureau, Inc., 734 F.2d 47, 51 (D.C.Cir.1984) ("Judging the reasonableness of an agency's procedures involves weighing the potential harm from inaccuracy against the burden of safeguarding against such inaccuracy."); Philbin v. Trans Union Corp., 101 F.3d 957, 963 (3d Cir.1996) (same). This is not one of those cases in which summary judgment is appropriate on the ground that the reasonableness of defendants' reporting practices is beyond dispute.

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