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June 28 2018

9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FCRA Putative Class Action for Lack of Standing

The Ninth Circuit has ruled that the plaintiff in Bassett v. ABM Parking Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:16-CV-00947 (9th Cir. 1018) failed to allege a concrete injury-in-fact sufficient for Article III standing in a suit alleging a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The panel applied Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), in which the Supreme Court emphasized Article II standing requires a concrete injury even in the context of a statutory violation. The panel also discussed the legislative history of the FCRA requirement to redact credit card expiration dates and concluded that the congressional judgment weighted against the plaintiff because Congress' findings showed that a disclosed expiration date by itself posted minimal risk. And finally, the panel found the plaintiff's alternative statutory theories of injury to be unpersuasive.

Finally, the panel found the plaintiff’s alternative statutory theories of injury to be unpersuasive because (1) no purported substantive right of privacy was invaded when the plaintiff’s private information was not disclosed to anyone but himself and (2) the plaintiff did not allege any actual or material risk of harm as a result of the alleged procedural violation.  Thus, the Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the case due to lack of standing.