Class Claims Credit Reporter Misidentified 'Hundreds or Thousands' as Sex Offenders
CHICAGO (CN) - A federal class action claims that consumer credit agency Infotrack Information Services falsely identified "hundreds or thousands of consumers as sex offenders in consumer reports provided to employers."
Lead plaintiff Samuel D. Jackson claims that "Infotrack created a consumer report erroneously indicating that Jackson was a registered sex offender and that he had committed heinous criminal acts" and sent "that consumer report to Jackson's prospective employer."
"This was not a one-time mistake on Infotrack's part," the complaint states. "Infotrack reports sex offender information about consumers whenever the consumer's first and last name matches the first and last name of any sex offender in its national sex offender database. Moreover, it never checks to determine whether the consumer's date of birth - or other personal identifying information - matches the date of birth of the actual sex offender. The failure to implement such basic cross-checking procedures has resulted in the erroneous labeling of hundreds or thousands of consumers as sex offenders in consumer reports provided to employers." (Emphasis in original.)
In his case, Jackson says, "the erroneous information never would have appeared in Jackson's consumer report, however, if Infotrack would have implemented the most basic and fundamental procedures to determine whether the sex offender information in the report actually related to Jackson. Indeed, Infotrack never determined whether Jackson's date of birth matched the dates of birth of the sex offenders listed in his report."
Jackson says Infotrack's report generated seven "possible matches," three of which were for "a fifty-eight-year-old African American male named Samuel L. Jackson from Virginia who was convicted of rape in November 18, 1987. Plaintiff was not yet 4 years old at the time."
When he called Infotrack to report the inaccurate information, Jackson says, the company told him "that the company's consumer reports frequently contain inaccurate sex offender information when the consumer has a common first and last name and that consumers frequently complain about the problem."
He says that "Infotrack's consumer reports are incomplete with respect to the sex offender information that they report because the consumer reports omit important information such as the actual sex offender's age, height, weight, and whether the sex offender is currently incarcerated."
He seeks punitive damages for Infotrack's failure to follow "reasonable procedures" to ensure accuracy in its reports and for reporting "sex offender information in consumer reports likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer's employment, while excluding from those consumer reports a great deal of personal indentifying information."
He is represented by Christopher Wilmes with Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick and Dym.