The Supreme Court’s decision in TransUnion L.L.C. v. Ramirez, 141 S. Ct. 2190 (2021), creates serious constitutional standing obstacles for consumer litigation in federal court, particularly for class actions and claims seeking statutory damages or intangible injuries. As explained in another NCLC article, Ramirez held that a credit reporting agency’s false identification of class members as terrorists did not cause them a concrete injury where that false information had not yet been reported to third parties, so they did not have standing to bring a Fair Credit Reporting Act claim for statutory damages. The Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), laid the groundwork for Ramirez’s rejection of most of the grounds on which the class members claimed standing.
In almost every consumer case brought in federal court involving statutory damages, intangible injuries, or a class action, practitioners can expect that defendants will raise Ramirez and constitutional standing questions.