Fair Credit Reporting Act

Stoll Berne filed eight proposed class actions against insurance companies (Farmers, State Farm, Safeco, Nationwide, GEICO, Progressive, Hartford and Valley Insurance Company) for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).The lawsuits allege that the insurance companies used information contained in plaintiffs' credit reports to underwrite plaintiffs' automobile and homeowners' insurance policies, which resulted in plaintiffs' paying higher premiums, and that the insurance companies failed to provide plaintiffs with the notices mandated by FCRA. Plaintiffs seek to recover statutory damages of $100 to $1,000 per person and attorneys' fees and costs.

Recently, three of these cases settled. On February 28, 2007, the Oregon Federal District Court gave final approval to a settlement between Hartford Insurance Company and a nationwide class of policyholders. On August 28, 2007, checks in the amount of approximately $175.00 were mailed to over 340,000 class members nationwide. This amounts to an aggregate amount of over $59 million.

On November 9, 2006, a $19.25 million settlement on behalf of 65,000 policyholders with Nationwide was given final approval by the Oregon Federal District Court. Class members were mailed checks of approximately $200 each in December 2006.

In the summer of 2004, the Oregon Federal District Court gave final approval to a settlement on behalf of Oregon policyholders of Valley Insurance Company. Class members were mailed checks of approximately $480 each in November 2004.

In September 2006, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari in two of the proposed class actions alleging violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act (Safeco and GEICO). Arguments in those cases took place on January 16, 2007.

ARTICLE RELATED TO THIS CASE:

April 20, 2007 - "Series of Oregon class action suits challenge insurers," Portland Business Journal