Dish Network recently moved to stay a Fair Credit Reporting Act case against it in the Southern District of New York, arguing that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins could control the outcome of the case.  Dish Network requested that the district court stay the class action brought by installation contractors who allege Dish Network violated the FCRA by running background checks without their consent.

The Motion is fully briefed and ripe for decision.

Plaintiff Scott Ernst originally filed suit in December 2012, alleging that Dish Network never received authorization for or informed him and other installation contractors about the consumer report information it obtained and, therefore, denied them a chance to correct any errors in the reports.  Plaintiff moved for class certification in September 2015.

After the class certification motion was fully briefed, Dish Network moved for a stay in early December.  Dish Network argued that the district court should wait for the ruling in Spokeo because the case may control whether the named plaintiff Scott Ernst and two other technicians have standing to bring the suit.  According to Dish Network, two of the proposed class representatives did not allege that they suffered any concrete harm other than a “purported violation of the rights under the [FCRA].”

According to Dish Network, “[t]he Spokeo decision will, at a minimum, provide clarity on the issue of plaintiffs’ and potential class members’ standing, if not fully settle the issue.”  Dish Network further argued that a stay pending resolution of Spokeo “will promote the interests of the parties and judicial economy.”

Dish Network highlighted that at least eleven other federal courts have decided to stay cases to wait for the decision in Spokeo, including cases against the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

In their opposition, Plaintiffs argued that the issues presented in this case are distinguishable from those presented in the Spokeo appeal.  According to Plaintiffs, “[u]nlike the issue in Spokeo, the injuries alleged here—failing to provide consumers with a specific disclosure to which they have a statutory right before procuring consumer reports on them, as well as failing to provide notice and a copy of the report before taking adverse action—are substantially more concrete.”

Dish Network filed its reply brief in support of the Motion to Stay on December 23.

As previously reported on this case here and here, Sterling Infosystems, Inc. settled the case with the installation contractors in November for $4.75 million.