(BOSTON) A record-breaking verdict awarded yesterday by a California jury against the TransUnion credit reporting agency demonstrates the importance of class actions and of strong consumer protection laws, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center. The jury awarded a nationwide class of over 8,000 consumers nearly $60 million in statutory and punitive damages. The jury found that TransUnion violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it carelessly misidentified the consumers as terrorists and criminals in their credit reports, confusing the consumers with similarly named individuals on a government watch list. The verdict is the largest FCRA verdict to date.
Advocates from National Consumer Law Center noted that the case demonstrates the importance of class actions and the civil justice system, including consumer protection laws that allow injured consumers to seek relief in court. They noted that Trans Union had defended its poor matching procedures by arguing that consumers weren't financially harmed by the inaccuracies.