The big credit bureaus are not known for being as responsive to correcting erroneous information on an individual’s credit report as they are to posting negative information. Hopefully, that inconsistency towards addressing incorrect data may start to change thanks to Julie Miller of Oregon.
Apparently, Miller’s trouble with her social security number, collection balances, and birth date were the result of Equifax erroneously intermingling her personal data with another individual. However, Miller’s attempts to get the problems resolved were in vain. After her eight attempts over two years, she turned to the courts to address her problems.
She filed suit in 2011, but it wasn’t until yesterday that the trial ended. The jury sympathized with her and punished Equifax to the tune of $18.6 million. Miller’s attorney demonstrated how the poor credit affected the plaintiff and affected her personal life. She was trying to care for her disabled brother and attempted to secure credit for him, but was unable to due to the issues stemming from Equifax’s customer no-service.
Her attorney Justin Baxter was able to show that Equifax breached her personal security and caused harm to her reputation. While Equifax is certain to appeal the jury award, they are also likely to learn a valuable lesson.
Baxter tells ABC he believes the judgment is unprecedented in its size. “I’m not aware of a larger one,” he says.
Asked what parts of Miller’s ordeal carried the most weight with the jury, Baxter tells ABC News: “She did what you’re supposed to do. She didn’t go running straight to the courthouse.” Instead, he says, she tried and tried again to get Equifax to fix its mistakes.
Baxter says he discovered that Equifax wasn’t even handling Miller’s complaint in-house. “We found that when complaints would come in, they’d run them through a scanner and then send them overseas.” Miller’s complaint, he says, was sent for processing to a subcontractor in the Philippines.
Do you think it’s fair the Equifax lawsuit rewarded the woman such a large sum?
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