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Price v. Trans Union

August 17, 2010

TERESA PRICE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TRANS UNION, LLC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Teresa Price ("Plaintiff"), brings this action against Defendant Trans Union, LLC ("Defendant") alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, and common law defamation, negligence, invasion of privacy/false light. Plaintiff is a Delaware resident. Defendant is a business entity which regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County and has its principal place of business in Pennsylvania.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant reported derogatory and inaccurate statements and information relating to Plaintiff and Plaintiff's credit history to third parties. Plaintiff avers that the inaccurate information reflects negatively upon Plaintiff's credit repayment history, financial responsibility as a debtor and credit worthiness. Plaintiff notes that she has repeatedly disputed the inaccurate information, but Defendant has continued to publish the inaccuracies to third parties. As a result of Defendant's conduct, Plaintiff contends that she has suffered actual damages and serious financial and pecuniary harm.

Defendant's partial motion for summary judgment is pending.

II. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT

A. The Proposed Amended Complaint

Plaintiff seeks leave to amend, under Rule 15(a), the Complaint for three discrete purposes. First, since filing the original Complaint, Plaintiff reached a settlement with Financial Recovery (an original Defendant) and the proposed Amended Complaint does not include Financial Recovery. Second, upon completing substantial discovery in this matter, Plaintiff does not wish to proceed against Defendant for the common law violations raised in the original Complaint. Third, Plaintiff further wishes to supplement the pleadings with factual information learned during the discovery process, and circumstances that arose after this lawsuit was filed. Plaintiff argues the Amended Complaint will streamline pretrial motions as it will provide Defendant with advanced notice of the claims and/or damages that Plaintiff does not intend to pursue at trial.

B. Defendant's Opposition

Defendant argues that the motion is untimely, coming almost nine months late from the Court's Scheduling Order's deadline for amendments to the pleadings. This action was filed on March 27, 2009. The Court's July 15, 2009 Scheduling Order contained a deadline for amendments to the pleadings of July 24, 2009. Plaintiff's instant motion was filed on April 1, 2010. Defendant argues that Plaintiff must show "good cause," under Rule 16(b), before Rule 15 is implicated. Moreover, Defendant claims Plaintiff does not address or show good cause for the late motion.

Moreover, Defendant argues that Plaintiff is simply trying to amend the Complaint to include an alleged "reinsertion" of information to her credit report. (See Proposed Amended Complaint at ¶ 28(d), which alleges a reinsertion of previously deleted information that was not alleged in the original Complaint.) Defendant argues that the "reinsertion" occurred on July 13, 2009, when defense counsel received a request from Plaintiff's counsel for a report for Plaintiff. They claim that when the report was obtained, a Trans Union operator accidently added a bankruptcy to Plaintiff's file which had been deleted in March 2009 before the claim was filed. When defense counsel realized the error, the report was corrected and a corrected report was sent to Plaintiff's counsel. Defendant contends that Plaintiff was never shown the report and the report did not go to any third party.*fn1

Defendant claims that Plaintiff's counsel knew that the "reinsertion" was an error and it was fixed within hours. The Trans Union employee who made and corrected the error was deposed on January 8, 2010, and explained the circumstances. Defendant argues the instant motion to amend is untimely because Plaintiff has not proposed a clear and cognizable justification for the delay beyond the time set forth in the Scheduling Order, under Rule 16(b), and as such has failed to show "good cause" to allow the amendment.

Finally, Defendant argues that if the motion is granted, it would request an opportunity to take discovery. Defendant would seek to depose Plaintiff and her counsel respecting the manner in which Plaintiff was informed of the ...


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