Thomas Robins, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Spokeo, Inc., a California corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
and Submitted December 13, 2016 San Francisco, California
Remand from the Supreme Court of the United States D.C. No.
William S. Consovoy (argued), Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC,
Arlington, Virginia; Jay Edelson, Rafey S. Balabanian, Ryan
D. Andrews, Roger Perlstadt, and J. Aaron Lawson, Edelson PC,
Chicago, Illinois; Patrick Strawbridge, Consovoy McCarthy
Park PLLC, Boston, Massachusetts; for Plaintiff-Appellant.
J. Pincus (argued), Archis A. Parasharami, Stephen C.N.
Lilley, and Daniel E. Jones, Mayer Brown LLP,
Washington, D.C.; John Nadolenco, Mayer Brown LLP, Los
Angeles, California; Donald M. Falk, Mayer Brown LLP, Palo
Alto, California; for Defendant-Appellee.
J. McLoon, Jones Day, Los Angeles, California; Meir Feder,
and Joshua S. Stillman, Jones Day, New York, New York; for
Amicus Curiae Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
James Chareq, Hudson Cook LLP, Washington, D.C., for Amicus
Curiae Consumer Data Industry Association.
McLeod, General Counsel; John R. Coleman, Assistant General
Counsel; Nandan M. Joshi and Kristin Bateman, Counsel;
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, D.C., for
Amicus Curiae Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Before: Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Susan P. Graber, and
Carlos T. Bea, Circuit Judges.
III Standing / Fair Credit Reporting Act
remand from the United States Supreme Court, Spokeo, Inc.
v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016), the panel reversed the
district court's dismissal of an action brought by Thomas
Robins against Spokeo, Inc., alleging willful violations of
the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"); held that
Robins' alleged injuries were sufficiently concrete for
the purposes of Article III standing; and concluded that
because the alleged injuries were also sufficiently
particularized to Robins and caused by Spokeo's alleged
FCRA violations that were redress able in court, Robins
adequately alleged the elements necessary for Article III
Supreme Court held that to establish Article III standing,
there must be an injury that is "real" and not
"abstract" or merely "procedural."
Spokeo, Inc., 136 S.Ct. at 1549.
alleged that Spokeo published an allegedly inaccurate report
about him on its website, and further alleged that Spokeo
willfully violated various procedural requirements under
FCRA, including failing to follow reasonable procedures to
assure the accuracy of the information in his consumer
the panel held that Congress established the FCRA provisions
at issue to protect consumers' concrete interests (as
opposed to purely procedural rights). Specifically, the panel
concluded that the FCRA provisions in this case were crafted
to protect consumers' (like Robins's) concrete
interests in accurate credit reporting about themselves.
Second, the panel held that Robins alleged FCRA violations
that actually harmed his concrete interest. Specifically, the
panel held that Robins alleged inaccuracies by Spokeo
concerning his age, marital status, educational background,
and employment history that could be deemed a real harm to
his employment prospects.
panel rejected Spokeo's suggestion that Robins's
allegations of harm were too speculative to establish a
concrete injury. The panel held that both the challenged
conduct and attendant injury had already occurred, where
Spokeo published an inaccurate consumer report about Robins
and the alleged intangible injury caused by the report had
also occurred. The panel concluded that Robins had alleged
injuries that were sufficiently concrete for purposes of
Article III standing.
SCANNLAIN, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
remand from the Supreme Court, we must determine whether an
alleged violation of a consumer's rights under the Fair
Credit Reporting Act constitutes a harm sufficiently
concrete to satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement
of Article III of the United States Constitution.
Inc., operates a website by the same name that compiles
consumer data and builds individual consumer-information
profiles. At no cost, consumers can use spokeo.com to view a
report containing an array of details about a person's
life, such as the person's age, contact information,
marital status, occupation, hobbies, economic health, and
wealth. More detailed information is available for users who
pay subscription fees. Spokeo markets its services to
businesses, claiming that its reports provide a good way to
learn more about prospective business associates and
point, Thomas Robins became aware that Spokeo had published
an allegedly inaccurate report about him on its website.
Robins then sued Spokeo for willful violations of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. §
1681 et seq. FCRA imposes a number of procedural
requirements on consumer reporting agencies to regulate their
creation and use of consumer reports. The statute gives consumers affected by a
violation of such requirements a right to sue the responsible
party, including the right to sue (and to recover statutory
damages) for ...