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Ninth Circuit Issues Another Article III Standing Decision

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At this point, those involved with background screening should have a standing date with the Ninth Circuit. Famous for its decisions regarding the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and other areas of law impacting background screening, the Ninth Circuit has issued another decision regarding Article III standing. Due to their prevalence, consumer reporting agencies and employers should already be familiar with class actions lawsuits as well as the concept of requisite standing to bring those actions. The Ninth Circuit recently confirmed that the standing requirement applies to all class members, not just those who are named plaintiffs in the case. Specifically, a Ninth Circuit panel held in Ramirez v. TransUnion LLC that all class members must have Article III standing at the time of final judgment in order to recover monetary damages.

In Ramirez v. TransUnion LLC, the credit bureau erroneously listed Sergio Ramirez on its terrorist watchlist database, discovered by the plaintiff when he authorized a car dealership to obtain his credit report. Ramirez brought a class action against TransUnion, arguing that the bureau erroneously listed his information and provided misleading and incomplete disclosures about the terrorist watchlist alerts. A jury found for the plaintiffs, awarding over $60 million in statutory and punitive damages. TransUnion appealed, arguing that not all plaintiffs had standing at the time of final judgment because not all of the class members had their erroneous credit reports actually disclosed. The Ninth Circuit court agreed with TransUnion that all plaintiffs must have Article III standing at the time of judgment. However, the Court further found that all members of the class had requisite standing. TransUnion’s statutory violations and the risk of disclosure of erroneous information sufficiently established a concrete injury that met Article III standing requirements. If you would like AccuSource to provide a complimentary review of your current background screening compliance program, please contact us at marketing@accusource-online.com.

Jennifer Daimon, Esq. | CIPM

Jennifer Daimon, Esq. | CIPM

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