Sloan vs Equifax...The case concerns an instance of identity theft that severely affected the emotional and finacial well being of an innocent family. The criminal was thrown in jail -but Equifax's continued failure to correct the problem and respond to the victim's requests, and to follow mandated "reasonable" procedures, are pointed out in the Appeals Court's opinion.
Sloan vs. Equifax:
The opinion points out the significant problems Equifax's refusal to correct her credit reports and remove fraudulent accounts, brought on her family. Sloan's claims paint a clear picture of the real consequences innocent victims face when fraud and identity theft strikes. And clearly shows why it often takes years to "fix" it, and how the credit reporting agencies negligence serves to significantly exacerbate the effects of fraud - with little regard for a consumer's rights (and innocence )...and total disregard for the effects of their actions -or inactions!
The Fourth Circuit rejected all of Equifax's arguments on liability and most of their arguments as to emotional distress damages, but did reduce the emotional damages from $245,000 to $150,000. (The jury's $106,000 economic damages award was left in place.)
Here's a small portion...read the full Opinion here -Well worth reading.
"After Suzanne Sloane discovered that a thief had stolen her identity
and ruined her credit, she notified the police and sought to have Equifax
Information Services, LLC, a credit reporting service, correct the
resulting errors in her credit report. The police promptly arrested and
jailed the thief. But twenty-one months later, Equifax still had not
corrected the errors in Suzanne’s credit report.
On June 25, 2003, Suzanne Sloane entered Prince William Hospital
to deliver a baby. She left the hospital not only a new mother, but also
the victim of identity theft. A recently hired hospital employee named
Shovana Sloan noticed similarity in the women’s names and birth
dates and, in November and December 2003, began using Suzanne’s
social security number to obtain credit cards, loans, cash advances,
and other goods and services totaling more than $30,000.
At the end of January 2004, Suzanne discovered these fraudulent transactions when Citibank notified her that it had cancelled her credit card and told her to contact Equifax if she had any concerns.
Unable to reach Equifax by telephone on a Friday evening,
Suzanne went instead to the Equifax website, where she was able to access her credit report and discovered Shovana Sloan’s name and evidence of the financial crimes Shovana had committed. Suzanne promptly notified the police1 and contacted Equifax, which assertedly placed a fraud alert on her credit file.
Equifax told Suzanne to "roll up her sleeves" and start calling all of her "20-some" creditors to notify them of the identity theft. Suzanne took the next two days off
from work to contact each of her creditors, and, at their direction, she submitted numerous notarized forms to correct her credit history.
Suzanne, however, continued to experience problems with Equifax..."