Plaintiffs Don’t Stand Tall in Texas FCRA Class Action

Last week, the Northern District of Texas weighed in on the proper application of Article III standing requirements in light of the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016), and delivered a win to employers in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) cases.

In Dyson v. Sky Chefs, Inc., 2017 WL 2618946 (N.D. Tex. June 16, 2017), the court held that the plaintiff in a putative class action who alleged the improper inclusion of “extraneous” information in a FCRA disclosure, lacked Article III standing. The employer’s document did not “consist solely of the disclosure” because it contained: (a) an “ongoing authorization” clause; (2) state and municipal law notices; (3) a summary of rights; and (4) a legal disclaimer. While the employer’s disclosure was not a standalone document (as required by the statute) it provided the plaintiff with all of the statutorily-required information.

The employer moved to dismiss the action, contending that the inclusion of extraneous information was a procedural rather than a substantive violation and thus did not constitute injury in fact. The court agreed, concluding that the plaintiff did not allege a concrete informational or privacy-based injury.

In reaching this conclusion, the court distinguished the substantiveright to information from the procedural right to receive it in a specified format, and made clear that the allegations in Dyson fell squarely in the latter box: FULL ARTICLE

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