Missouri law: Bruce v. First USA Bank

David A. Szwak

Missouri law: Bruce v. First USA Bank

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:02 pm

Bruce v. First U.S.A. Bank, Nat. Ass'n
103 F.Supp.2d 1135
E.D.Mo.,2000.
Jun 20, 2000

Tortious Interference
[20] [21] [22] To prevail on a claim for tortious interference with credit expectancy, plaintiff must prove: (1) a valid credit expectancy; (2) that defendant knew of the expectancy; (3) denial of credit induced or caused by the defendant's intentional interference; (4) absence of justification; and (5) damages. Bell v. May Dep't Stores Co., 6 S.W.3d 871, 876 (Mo.1999)(en banc); Nazeri v. Missouri Valley College, 860 S.W.2d 303, 316 (Mo.1993). First U.S.A. challenges only the justification element of plaintiff's prima facie case. A person is justified in interfering with the credit expectancy of another if by doing so the person is acting to protect his own economic interests. Bell, 6 S.W.3d at 876. As stated above with respect to plaintiff's claims under the FCRA, genuine issues of material fact exist regarding whether the information contained in plaintiff's credit report is false and whether First U.S.A. conducted a reasonable investigation to verify the information that it reported. Factual disputes on these issues necessarily create a factual dispute as to whether First U.S.A. was justified in its actions. Summary judgment is therefore inappropriate on this basis. Moreover, plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence of credit denials to withstand summary judgment on his tortious interference claim, and First U.S.A.'s estoppel argument fails for reasons stated above. First U.S.A.'s motion for summary judgment will be denied with respect to this claim.

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