The third time was not the charm for local plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court this term. Today the court dismissed Fair Credit Reporting Act claims in a case that originated in U.S. District Court in Oregon. This was the third case from Oregon that the court decided this term (the other two are described here), and the third in which the plaintiffs were denied the relief they sought.
In Safeco v. Burr and GEICO v. Edo, the defendant auto insurers charged plaintiffs higher premiums due to their credit scores. Plaintiffs claimed that, in violation of FCRA, the insurers failed to give them notice of this "adverse action." Plaintiffs sought damages for a willful violation of FCRA. The court held that, in the case of GEICO, plaintiff's premiums were not in fact affected by her credit score and there was no duty to give FCRA notice. Safeco, in contrast, did increase premiums based on plaintiffs' credit scores. But its failure to give notice of the adverse action was based on a reasonable interpretation of FCRA and therefore was not a "willful" violation of the law.
See earlier coverage of this case in the Oregon Business Litigation Blog here.