United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Middle Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on Defendant Regions Bank's
motion to dismiss the amended complaint for lack of standing
(doc. 55) and motion to exclude evidence (doc. 60). In this
case, Plaintiff Terry Blumenfeld asserts that Regions Bank
violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”),
15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and Alabama law by
pulling her consumer report and sharing that report with her
mother, all without Ms. Blumenfeld's consent.
Bank contends that Ms. Blumenfeld lacks standing because she
has asserted nothing more than a bare procedural violation of
the FCRA for which she has not shown a concrete injury. In
response, Ms. Blumenfeld submitted an affidavit in which she
attests that she spent $40 to $50 on a lock box so that she
could secure the consumer report that Regions Bank disclosed
to her mother. This affidavit prompted Regions Bank to move
to exclude that evidence for failing to timely disclose it
court DENIES the motion to dismiss because
Ms. Blumenfeld has presented sufficient evidence to establish
standing. The court DENIES the motion to
exclude the evidence because Ms. Blumenfeld's failure to
disclose the information is harmless.
court described in detail the facts underlying this case in a
previous memorandum opinion (see doc. 44), and will
not now repeat all of those facts. Of relevance to the
motions currently before the court, taken in the light most
favorable to Ms. Blumenfeld, she has presented evidence that
Regions Bank pulled her consumer report and shared that
report with her mother, all while knowing it did not have her
consent. (See Id. at 4-6).
Blumenfeld testified that she has not experienced any issues
with identity theft as a result of Regions Bank accessing or
sharing her consumer report, and she is not aware of a
decrease in her credit score. (Doc. 30-1 at 145-46). She also
testified that she did not have any out of pocket damages as
a result of the violation. (Id. at 164). But she
testified that she was very angry, embarrassed, and stressed
about the disclosure of her consumer report to her mother.
(Id. at 115).
after the close of discovery, Ms. Blumenfeld has submitted an
affidavit in which she attests that she also spent $40 to $50
on a lock box in order to secure the consumer report. (Doc.
56-3 at 4 ¶ 13). The affidavit does not explain why she
never before disclosed the purchase of the lock box. (See
generally id.). After Regions Bank moved to exclude that
part of the affidavit, Ms. Blumenfeld submitted another
affidavit in which she states that “until [she]
provided the affidavit to my lawyer . . ., [she] did not at
the time understand the $40 or $50 dollars I spent for the
lock box to be the type of out of pocket damages defendant
was asking about.” (Doc. 63-1 at 2). Instead, she
believed out of pocket damages meant “medical bills for
seeing a doctor or a psychiatrist or psychologist or lost
time from work.” (Id. at 3).
Bank has moved to dismiss the case and to exclude Ms.
Blumenfeld's evidence that she spent money on a lock box.
(Docs. 55, 60). The court will address the motion to dismiss
first, followed by the motion to exclude. But before that,
the court will briefly set out the statutory background.
FCRA regulates permissible uses of and access to consumer
reports, and creates a private right of action for willful
violations of the Act. See 15 U.S.C. §§
1681b, 1681n, 1681o. By definition, a consumer report is
any written, oral, or other communication of any information
by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's
credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity,
character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or
mode of living which is used or expected to be used or
collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a
factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for-
(A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal,
family, or ...