Causation: Graham v. CSC; Good Reading

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

Causation: Graham v. CSC; Good Reading

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:37 pm

Graham v. CSC Credit Services, Inc.,
306 F.Supp.2d 873, D.Minn., Mar 08, 2004

The Court notes that a consumer only needs to show that the erroneous negative information was a substantial factor in a creditor's adverse credit decision. Philbin v. Trans Union Corp., 101 F.3d 957, 968-69 (3d Cir.1996). The consumer does not need to eliminate the possibility that accurate negative information also contributed the creditor's adverse decision. Id. at 969. Graham contends that he can show that the false Gateway tradeline was at least a substantial factor in First Republic's decision to take an adverse credit action against him, because any other negative information on the CSC report was not nearly as derogatory as the false Gateway tradeline. Additionally, Graham's credit report states that his credit score is low due to, among other things, "serious delinquency" and "amount owed on delinquent accounts." The Gateway tradeline was a category 5 as of the time of the report, the most serious delinquency rating. The only other delinquencies were past delinquencies of category 2--the least delinquent delinquency rating. A reasonable trier of fact could infer that the term "serious delinquency" refers to the Gateway tradeline.
By a process of elimination argument, Graham has raised an issue of material fact regarding whether the Gateway tradeline in the CSC report was a substantial factor in First Republic's decision to charge Graham the interest rate that it did. The Court finds that Graham has raised a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether CSC caused him to suffer out-of-pocket damages.

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