The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Nicholas Quinn ("Quinn"), brings a three count action
against Equifax Information Services LLC ("Equifax"), alleging multiple
violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et
seq. (2003). Equifax has filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For the following reasons, Equifax's
motion for summary judgment is granted.
This dispute began when an allegedly fraudulent account was opened with
Wal-Mart in Quinn's name sometime in April of 2002. On May 15, 2002,
Quinn contacted Equifax on an unrelated matter regarding an OSI
collection account he claimed was not his. The OST collection account was
an account that Quinn claimed had been fraudulently opened using his
social security number, and Quinn called Equifax to make sure that it was
not reporting the OSI collection account in Quinn's credit reports.
Equifax researched the issue and on May 23, 2002, informed Quinn that
Equifax had never reported an OSI account in his credit report, On June
20, 2002, Quinn contacted Equifax to dispute the Wal-Mart account that
was reported in a credit
report prepared by Equifax, On June 20, 2002, when Quinn first informed
Equifax of the Wal-Mart dispute, the Wal-Mart account was reported as a
current account with a $187.00 balance that was being paid on time,
Equifax reviewed the dispute and prepared a Consumer Dispute
Verification form (CDV) that it forwarded to Wal-Mart on June 25, 2002,
The CDV apprised Wal-Mart that Quinn was disputing the Wal-Mart account.
On June 28, 2002, Wal-Mart advised Equifax that the information regarding
the disputed account was accurate as Equifax had reported it. That same
day, Equifax informed Quinn of the results of the Wal-Mart
reinvestigation and provided him with an updated copy of his credit
On July 1, 2002 Quinn contacted Equifax for a second time to dispute
the Wal-Mart account. Thai same day, Equifax reviewed the dispute and
prepared a second CDV that it forwarded to Wal-Mart to advise Wal-Mart
that Quinn had again disputed the Wal-Mart account opened in his name as
a fraudulent account. Wal-Mart did not respond to Equifax, and on July
29, 2002, Equifax deleted the Wal-Mart account in order to comply with
the FRCA § 1681i thirty day requirement. Under § 1681 i, once a credit
reporting agency is notified of the need to reinvestigate an account, it
has thirty days to complete the reinvestigation and fix the inaccuracy.
After deleting the Wal-Mart account in accordance with § 1681 i, Equifax
notified Quinn that the Wal-Mart account had been deleted and provided
him with another copy of his credit report prepared by Equifax, Quinn
filed this action on September 1, 2002.
Quinn's complaint alleges that multiple defendants including, Experian
Information Solutions, Equifax Information Services, GE Card Services,
Sprint PCS, and, OST Collection Services, Inc., had been "reporting
derogatory and inaccurate statements and information" about
Quinn and his credit history and that the inaccurate information
had been reported to third parties. Quinn alleges that the defendants
were in violation of multiple provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting
Act, Quinn claims damages from loss of credit opportunities, mental
anguish, financial and dignitary harm, statutory damages, punitive
damages, and attorney's fees. Equifax has moved for summary judgment on
all counts. For the following reasons, Equifax's motion for summary
judgment is granted,
A. Summary Judgment
Summary Judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any show that there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact and that the moving party is entitled to summary judgment as a
matter of law.' Fed. R, CIV. P. 56(c). A genuine issue of material fact
exists when the "evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party," Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1985). Initially, the moving party bears the burden of
showing that the record contains no genuine issue of material fact,
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986), The governing
substantive law establishes which facts are material. Andersen, 477 U.S.
The non moving party must present more than a "metaphysical doubt as
to the material facts" to survive summary judgment, Matsushita Elec.
Indus., Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 596 (1986).
Additionally, "mere conclusory" allegations are not enough, Nowak v. St.
Rita High School, 142 F.3d 999, 1002 (7th Cir. 1998).
1. FCRA $1681e (b) Claims
FCRA § 1681e (b) provides that "[w]henever a consumer reporting
agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures
to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the
individual about whom the report relates," 15 U.S.C. § 1681e (b). In
order to recover under this Section, a plaintiff must provide that: (1)
there was inaccurate information contained in the consumer report; (2)
the inaccuracy was due to the credit reporting company's failure to
follow reasonable procedures to ensure maximum accuracy; (3) he suffered
actual damages; and (4) those damages were caused by the inaccuracy.
Philbin v. Tram Union Corp., 101 F.3d 957, 963 (3rd Cir. 1996),
Quinn has alleged that the entire Wal-Mart account was inaccurate as to
him and that it was fraudulently opened using his social security number
and a different name. Viewing the facts in Quinn's favor, it is
reasonable to infer that the Wal-Mart account was erroneously contained
in his credit report. However, § 1681e (b) does not establish strict
liability, nor does it require Equifax to ...