One of the big concerns regarding the trend of federal judges dismissing cases because the plaintiff lacked standing to sue in federal court is that those cases would end up being filed in state court, and the decisions might not be as favorable for the defendants. To give everyone a little hope, I give you a ruling from a state court judge in New York, who has dismissed a complaint filed against a collection law firm for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because the plaintiff did not suffer any “specific injury.”
A copy of the ruling in the case of Green v. Forster & Garbus can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a collection letter from the defendant, in which the plaintiff alleges the defendant did not indicate “which entity defendant represents and is materially misleading as to the identity of the owner of the debt” even though it included the debt amount, the original creditor, the judgment creditor, and the current owner of the account. The plaintiff claimed the misleading letter left him uncertain about who the owner of the debt was, but he failed to cite any authority “for the proposition that confusion constitutes an injury-in-fact, particularly where, as here, plaintiff admits that the debt is actually owed,” wrote Judge David T. Reilly of the Supreme Court of New York. “Further, even judged by the ‘least sophisticated consumer’ standard, any uncertainty or confusion as to the owner of the debt could have easily been reconciled by following the simple instructions on the letter which state that plaintiff can contact defendant to dispute the debt owed.”