In Long v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (“SEPTA”), the Third Circuit is set to rule on a challenge to the named plaintiffs’ lack of Article III standing in a Fair Credit Reporting Act putative class action.
As we previously reported, in Long the named plaintiffs alleged that SEPTA violated the FCRA by failing to provide job applicants with a clear and conspicuous disclosure that a consumer report may be obtained about the applicant for employment purposes, and by failing to provide the plaintiffs with a pre-adverse action letter and copy of the consumer report before revoking their conditional offers of employment. The plaintiffs did not allege that their consumer reports were inaccurate in any way. SEPTA filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to allege facts sufficient to satisfy the standing requirements under Spokeo. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted SEPTA’s motion to dismiss, holding that the “Plaintiffs’ allegations amount to bare procedural violations without concrete harm.”
The plaintiffs appealed the Court’s decision, arguing that the district court erred in finding that they lacked standing under Article III. The Third Circuit held oral arguments on December 12. Counsel for the plaintiffs specifically argued that the district court’s decision creates an impossible pleading requirement by requiring plaintiffs to show that the consumer reports (of which they never received copies) contained inaccurate information that harmed their employment prospects.
The Third Circuit took the matter under advisement after the hearing. We will continue to monitor the case for a final decision.