A California federal jury found Tuesday that TransUnion, one of the nation’s three largest credit reporting agencies, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it incorrectly conflated a class of consumers with similarly named terrorists and criminals from a government watch list. The jury awarded statutory and punitive damages exceeding $60 million, the largest FCRA verdict to date.
Here is an excerpt from a report from Law360’s Cara Bayles:
TransUnion LLC’s credit reports checked consumers against the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control database, which lists terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals. But, the suit alleged, reports about law-abiding consumers were sometimes linked to similarly named criminals on the OFAC watch list.
After a weeklong trial and less than six hours of deliberations, the jury found Tuesday that TransUnion willfully failed to assure the maximum accuracy for its results, to notify class members of their OFAC results in written disclosures, and to provide them with notice of their FCRA rights. The 8,185 class members profiled by TransUnion will each get $984 in statutory damages and $6,353 in punitive damages, bringing the total award to $8 million in statutory damages and $52 million in punitive damages.