A District Court judge in New Jersey has dismissed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class-action, ruling the plaintiffs lack standing to sue because they did not suffer a concrete injury when the defendant left voicemails using its official company name after sending letters to the plaintiffs using a different company name. The defendant had previously lost a motion for summary judgment, but following the Supreme Court ruling in TransUnion v. Ramirez, the judge ruled the plaintiffs now lacked standing to pursue their suit.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Levins v. Healthcare Revenue Recovery Group can be accessed by clicking here.
The case was originally filed back in 2017. A District Court judge dismissed the suit, which was revived by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The case was remanded back to the District Court, which then denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
The plaintiffs argued they had standing because the Court was bound by Third Circuit precedent, because TransUnion did not change the law for FDCPA claims, and because a statutory violation without any harm can be sufficient to constitute a concrete injury.
The answer to each of those arguments was TransUnion, according to Judge Christine P. O’Hearn of the District Court for the District of New Jersey. Even though this case has been before the Court for five years, other courts have reevaluated standing “at various stages of litigation” following the TransUnion ruling, Judge O’Hearn noted. Judge O’Hearn also noted that there has not been a single post-TransUnion FDCPA case in New Jersey in which they have “considered the present question and resolved it in favor of Article III standing,” she wrote.