Supreme Court Shakes Article III Law on Transunion Llc V. Ramirez; Eleventh Circuit grappling with the decision of the next En Banc decision | King and Spalding


It is no exaggeration to say that the class actions bar was awaiting the Supreme Court ruling in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, 141 S. Ct. 2190 (2021), impatiently. When Decision 5-4 fell in June, it clarified existing Article III law in important respects, while leaving other important issues unresolved. The basic court ruling that a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) complainant asserting defamation-type allegations has no standing unless the defendant discloses inaccurate information about them to a third party , is sufficiently clear, but did not break new ground in terms of legal basis (most circuits, after all, had already ruled that claimants making such claims must prove that publication prevailed). Perhaps more importantly, the Court also held that a mere risk of future harm – without more – does not confer on Article III the right to sue for pecuniary damages, at least in the lack of evidence that the risk has materialized (or that complainants have suffered distinct harm as a result of their exposure to the risk). But questions remain as to how the lower courts will interpret this part of the Ramírez and what types of risk-related injuries they will deem sufficient to confer status. And 2022 promises to be an interesting year as the courts will be forced to grapple with how to apply Ramírez outside the FCRA context.

the in bench The Eleventh Circuit is expected to do so later this year. The full court will consider Ramirez’s claim in a case called Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) titled Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc. Application Ramírez, the now rescinded panel opinion concluded that a claimant had standing to bring an action in favor of the FDCPA based on the disclosure by a debt collector of private debt-related information to one of its mail providers. The specific problem presented in Hunstein– if the disclosure of private information by a debt collector to one of its mail providers confers the right to sue under the FDCPA provisions prohibiting certain third party disclosures – is quite restricted. The bigger question, however, is whether the in bench the court will accept the panel test to determine whether an alleged statutory prejudice has a “close connection” to prejudice recoverable by an action in ordinary tort, and therefore constitutes concrete prejudice in fact under Ramírez. The panel had held that in order to meet the “close relationship” standard, a claimant must “only show that his alleged prejudice is similar in kind to the damage covered by a common law cause of action, not that it is similar in diploma. “After formulating this test, the panel found that Hunstein had standing, finding that he had alleged” harm similar in nature to the common law tort of public disclosure of private facts “on the basis of the alleged unlawful disclosure. of its private debt information to a third party -mail provider party How much of the panel’s reasoning survives in bench the review remains to be seen. We will report on the in Hunstein bench decision upon issuance.


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