Cases & Deals

Experian and Equifax obtain affirmance of dismissal of FCRA liability lawsuit

Client(s) Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

On behalf of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. and Equifax Information Services, L.L.C., Jones Day prevailed before the Fifth Circuit in the first published court of appeals decision addressing whether credit reporting agencies can be held liable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") for omitting a single trade line—like a particular credit card account—from a consumer's credit report. In the case, the plaintiff sued Experian and Equifax, claiming that they had violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by refusing to add his Capital One account to his credit report. The plaintiff claimed that this omission lowered his credit score and prevented him from getting a credit card and a mortgage.

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the plaintiff's claim, holding that "[t]he omission of a single credit item does not render a report 'inaccurate' or 'misleading.'" The court also held that Equifax and Experian had no duty to investigate the omission of the plaintiff's Capital One account from his credit report, as the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires agencies to investigate only the completeness or accuracy of specific credit entries, not the completeness or accuracy of a consumer's credit report as a whole.

Hammer v. Equifax Info. Servs., L.L.C., 974 F.3d 564, 568 (5th Cir. 2020)