Cases & Deals

Experian obtains complete dismissal with prejudice in consumer class action

Client(s) Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

Jones Day, on behalf of Experian Information Solutions, Inc., recently obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a consumer class action in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, filed a class action complaint on May 31, 2016 against Experian, AT&T, AT&T Mobility, DirecTV, Prime Communications, National Collection Bureau, Credence Resource Management, and individual employees of Prime Communications, arising from AT&T’s alleged improperly billing of a monthly phone service plan associated with an iPhone that Plaintiff returned to an AT&T Authorized Retailer. The complaint alleged causes of action against Experian under California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”), California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), and California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”). Plaintiff further alleged causes of action against Experian for elder financial abuse and fraud and conversion.

In response, Experian filed a demurrer to all causes of action for failure to state a claim. Experian argued that Plaintiff’s CCRAA claim failed as a matter of law because Plaintiff failed to allege that his credit file contained inaccurate information or that he ever notified Experian of any inaccurate information. Experian also argued, among other things, that Plaintiff’s UCL claim was preempted by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Plaintiff did not constitute a consumer who purchased goods or services from Experian such that the CLRA applied.

The trial court agreed and sustained Experian’s demurrer in its entirety, with prejudice, as to Plaintiff’s UCL, CLRA, elder financial abuse, and common law fraud claims, and without prejudice as to Plaintiff’s CCRAA claim. The court granted Plaintiff leave to amend within thirty days as to the CCRAA claim only. After thirty days expired and Plaintiff failed to amend, Experian filed an ex parte application for dismissal with prejudice. On January 3, 2017, the trial court granted the application and dismissed the case against Experian in its entirety at the pleading stage.

McCarthy v. AT&T, Case No. 16CVP-0137 (Super. Ct. San Luis Obispo Cty., Cal.)