Court Slashes FCRA Punitive Damages Award from $3 Million to $490,000

A Northern District of Alabama judge reduced the punitive damages from $3 million to less than $500,000 in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claim after the court held that the original award was not justified given the plaintiff’s “relatively minor injury.” Shawn Younger filed suit against Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Equifax Information Services, LLC and Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, alleging that he owed certain credit card debt, which had been sold to PRA. When the debt had been settled, the plaintiff requested that it also be removed from his credit report, however, the defendants only did so after the plaintiff filed his complaint. Equifax and PRA settled prior to trial for $76,500, leaving Experian as the sole defendant to proceed to trial.

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