Causation: Frost v. Experian; Good Reading

Proving the proximate and legal cause of your damages may be more tricky than you think.
David A. Szwak

Causation: Frost v. Experian; Good Reading

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:35 pm

Frost v. Experian and TRW, Inc.,
Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 1999 WL 287373, S.D.N.Y., May 06, 1999

F. Causation
The defendants further contend that the plaintiff has failed to prove that any erroneous items on his credit report caused the denial of credit. They assert that many accurately reported "derogatory" items have appeared on the plaintiff's credit report and argue that any one of those items may have resulted in rejection of the plaintiff's applications. Therefore, the defendants conclude, the plaintiff has failed to establish that "but for" the erroneous listings on his credit report, he would have been a likely candidate for the credit requested.

For the purposes of summary judgment, however, the plaintiff need only produce evidence from which a reasonable trier of fact could infer that the inaccurate items on the plaintiff's credit report were a substantial factor in the potential creditors' decisions to deny his applications for credit. See Philbin v. Trans Union Corp., 101 F.3d 957, 968 (3d Cir.1996) (citing Restatement (Second) of Torts § 431(a); W. Page Keeton et al., Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 41, at 266-68 (5th ed.1984)). The plaintiff need not eliminate the possibility that "correct adverse entries or any other factors" also entered into the decision to deny credit. Id. at 969 (quoting Pendleton v. Trans Union Systems Corp., 76 F.R.D. 192, 195 (E.D.Pa.1977)); see also Cahlin v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 936 F.2d 1151, 1161 (11th Cir.1991) (plaintiff "bears the burden of proving that [defendant's] credit report was a causal factor in the denial" of credit). Similarly, to establish a prima facie case under New York state law a plaintiff must show only that the defendant's negligence was a substantial cause of the events which produced the injury. See, e.g., Derdiarian v. Felix Contracting Co., 51 N.Y.2d 308, 315, 434 N.Y.S.2d 166, 169 (1980) (citing Restatement (Second) of Torts § 431).

Return to “Causation to Damage [Proving Your Damages Are Related to and Caused by the Defendants”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest