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Noye v. Yale Associates, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 29, 2017

T JASON NOYE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs
v.
YALE ASSOCIATES, INC., Defendant

          MEMORANDUM

          Kane Judge

         Before the Court is Plaintiff T Jason Noye's motion to compel discovery pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 37.[1] (Doc. No. 60.) For the following reasons, the Court will grant Plaintiff's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND[2]

         In February 2015, Plaintiff T Jason Noye applied for the position of Operations Supervisor with Johnson & Johnson through a staffing company, Kelly Services, Inc. (“Kelly”). (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 32.) Plaintiff was offered and accepted the position on February 11, 2015. (Id.) In his application, Plaintiff indicated that he had been convicted of a crime. (Id. ¶ 33.) On March 13, 2015, Kelly informed Plaintiff that Johnson & Johnson would not hire Plaintiff based on a background report obtained from Yale Associates, Inc. (“Yale”). (Id. ¶ 36.)

         Yale operates a national database of public records and furnishes consumer reports for employers. (Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff maintains that Yale misreported four summary offenses as misdemeanors and three summary offenses as “safety violations” in Plaintiff's background report. (Id. ¶¶ 40, 42-43.) Plaintiff claims that these inaccuracies cost him his position with Johnson & Johnson. (Id. ¶ 40.)

         On November 24, 2015, Plaintiff initiated the above-captioned action against Defendant Yale Associates, Inc. for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq. (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 1.) In Count I of the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated the FCRA's requirement to (1) notify “the fact that adverse public and criminal record information is being provided to employers or prospective employers” (id. ¶ 58(a)), see 15 U.S.C. § 1681k(a)(1); and to (2) “maintain strict procedures to insure that the public record information it sells to employers is complete and up to date” (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 58(b)), see 15 U.S.C. § 1681k(a)(2). In Count II, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant “willfully and negligently” misreported summary offenses in Pennsylvania as misdemeanors or more serious offenses, thus failing, to “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information.” (Id. ¶ 63) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b)).

         Plaintiff brings the above-captioned action on behalf of himself and two putative classes. (Id. ¶¶ 3, 46-53.) Namely, Plaintiff seeks to bring the action on behalf of the following classes identified as the “Section 1681k Class” and the “Section 1681e(b) Class, ” respectively:

(a) All natural persons residing in the United States (including all territories and other political subdivisions of the United States) who were the subject of a consumer report furnished to a third party by Yale, that was furnished for an employment purpose, that contained at least one record of a criminal conviction or arrest, civil lien, bankruptcy or civil judgment, on or after five years prior to the filing of this action and extending through the resolution of this case, and to whom Yale did not place in the United States mail postage pre-paid, on the day it furnished any part of the report containing the public record, a written notice that it was furnishing the subject report and containing the name of the person that was to receive the report (the “Section 1681k Class”).
(b) All natural persons residing in the United States who, within five years prior to the filing of this action and continuing through the resolution of this case, were the subjects of background reports prepared by Defendant Yale which disclosed a Pennsylvania summary offense as a misdemeanor or more serious offense (the “Section 1681e(b) Class”).

         (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 46(a)-(b)) (emphasis added). Plaintiff seeks to certify the proposed classes pursuant to Rule 23 and to recover statutory damages, punitive damages, as well as reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.[3] (Id. at 13.)

         On March 17, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to strike Plaintiff's class allegations, strike punitive damage requests, and dismiss Count I of the complaint. (Doc. No. 24.) The Court denied Defendant's motion to strike (Doc. No. 46), and scheduled a status conference on Rule 23 discovery for November 17, 2016. (Doc. No. 54). Following the status conference, Plaintiff's counsel notified the Court that the parties had agreed, inter alia, that Defendant would answer Interrogatory No. 1 “regarding the number of people in the proposed Classes.” (Doc. No. 58 at 1.) Interrogatory No. 1 provides as follows:

State the total number of natural persons residing in the United States and its Territories who were the subject of a consumer report furnished to a third party by Yale, that was furnished for an employment purpose, that contained at least one record of a criminal conviction or arrest, civil lien, bankruptcy or civil judgment, and that was prepared on or after November 24, 2010.

         (Doc. No. 60-3 at 7.) Nonetheless, on April 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed the pending motion to compel urging the Court to order Defendant to supplement its responses. (Doc. Nos. 60, 60-1.) Defendant has filed a brief in opposition on May 10, 2017, and Plaintiff filed a reply brief on May 23, 2017. The motion to compel is ripe for disposition.

         II. ...


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