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6 Hunstein Cases Dismissed: TransUnion Casts Significant Doubt on Viability of Hunstein

  • Written by Steel Rose

"the Supreme Court’s decision in TransUnion casts significant doubt on the continued viability of Hunstein," according to the Judge Gary Brown, United States District Judge for the EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK. The Memorandum and Order of the District Court also declares:

"First, in TransUnion, the Supreme Court held that the “mere presence of an inaccuracy in an internal credit file, if it is not disclosed to a third party, causes no concrete harm.” 141 S. Ct. at 2210. In reaching this determination, which certainly presents a hurdle to the mailing vendor theory advanced in Hunstein, the Court observed: . . . the plaintiffs also argue that TransUnion “published” the class members’ information internally—for example, to employees within TransUnion and to the vendors that printed and sent the mailings that the class members received. That new argument is . . . unavailing. Many American courts did not traditionally recognize intra-company disclosures as actionable publications for purposes of the tort of defamation. Nor have they necessarily recognized disclosures to printing vendors as actionable publications."

"Second, TransUnion emphasizes that “in a suit for damages, the mere risk of future harm, standing alone, cannot qualify as a concrete harm—at least unless the exposure to the risk of future harm itself causes a separate concrete harm.”

"No actual damages are alleged by plaintiffs in any of these cases, all of which have been filed as class actions. Recent developments in the law, including the Supreme Court’s decision in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, 141 S. Ct. 2190 (2021), suggest that the plaintiffs in these cases lack standing and the Court therefore has no jurisdiction over these matters. In each of the cases referenced herein, the Court issued a show cause order directing that each plaintiff demonstrate standing and providing the plaintiff an opportunity to providing factual material and authority. In each case, the plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a concrete injury that would provide a basis for standing. As such, for the reasons discussed and to the extent described herein, these cases are dismissed."

"Incentivized by the promise of easy settlements and attorneys’ fees, counsel representing FDCPA plaintiffs have applied considerable imagination in devising theories of violation." To read the Order click here.

The six cases dismissed were: 21-2312 Stergakos v. I.C. System $387.28,

21-2587 Ford v. Alpha Recovery $440.28 

21-3002 Nasca v. International Recovery $25.00

21-3383 Colas v. Sentry Credit $482.28 

21-3434 Kivo v. State Collection Service $330.03, and 

21-3462 Babst v. Phoenix Financial Services $367.81