Judge Grants MTD in Hunstein Class-Action for Lack of Standing

A District Court judge in New York has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a Hunstein lawsuit, albeit for lack of standing, because the plaintiff failed to plead that using a letter vendor violated his privacy and that anyone at the vendor reviewed or otherwise saw the plaintiff’s information.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Weisz v. Sarma Collections can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated Section 1692c(b) the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by having a company print and mail a collection letter that was sent to the plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed that by merely disclosing his information to a third party the defendant violated the plain language of the FDCPA by being analogous to invading his privacy. But the plaintiff actually stopped short of claiming that his privacy was invaded, the defendant pointed out.

Looking at a similar ruling also out of the Southern District of New York — Sputz v. Alltran Financial — in which the case was dismissed for lack of standing, Judge Philip M. Halpern found the logic of that ruling “eminently sound,” and ruled that for a plaintiff to have standing, his or her private information would have to be disclosed to the public. Such disclosure “is essential to liability,” Judge Halpern wrote. “Simply put, Plaintiff’s failure to plead a concrete harm sufficient to establish standing deprives this Court of jurisdiction over his claim.”

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