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Groshek v. Time Warner Cable, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

February 22, 2017, Argued; August 1, 2017, Decided

No. 16-3355, No. 16-3711

Opinion

 [*885]  Bauer, Circuit Judge. Over the course of a year [**2]  and a half, Appellant Cory Groshek submitted 562 job applications to various employers, including Appellees Time Warner Cable, Inc. and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation (collectively, "Appellees").2 The job application, which Appellees provided to Groshek, included a disclosure and authorization  [*886]  form informing him that a consumer report may be procured in making the employment decision; the form also contained other information, such as a liability release. After Groshek submitted the job application, along with the signed disclosure and authorization form, Appellees requested and obtained a consumer report on him from a third party.

Shortly thereafter, Groshek filed a class-action suit against Appellees under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., seeking statutory and punitive damages for alleged violations of 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A).3 This section prohibits a prospective employer from procuring a consumer report for employment purposes unless certain procedures are followed: (i) a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the job applicant at any time before the report is procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained for employment [**3]  purposes (commonly known as the "stand-alone disclosure requirement"); and, (ii) the job applicant has authorized in writing the procurement of the report. See id. § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i)-(ii).

In his complaint, Groshek alleged that Appellees violated § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i). As the predicate for his claimed statutory and punitive damages, he alleged that this violation was willful. See id. § 1681n. Additionally, he alleged that, as a result of the violation of § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(i), Appellees failed to obtain a valid authorization from him before procuring a consumer report, in violation of § 1681b(b)(2)(A)(ii).

Appellees moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that Groshek lacked Article III standing because he did not suffer a concrete injury; Groshek responded that he suffered concrete informational and privacy injuries. The district court granted Appellees' motion. This appeal followed.

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865 F.3d 884 *; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13953 **; 42 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 147; 2017 WL 3260080

CORY GROSHEK, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. TIME WARNER CABLE, INC., Defendant-Appellee. CORY GROSHEK, and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. GREAT LAKES HIGHER EDUCATION CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellee.

Subsequent History: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Groshek v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 716 (U.S., Jan. 16, 2018)

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 2:15-cv-00157-pp — Pamela Pepper, Judge.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 3:15-cv-00143-jdp — James D. Peterson, Chief Judge.

Groshek v. Great Lakes Higher Educ. Corp., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144867 (W.D. Wis., Oct. 4, 2016)Groshek v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104952 (E.D. Wis., Aug. 9, 2016)

CORE TERMS

disclosure, concrete, consumer report, Akins, procure, authorization, privacy, job applicant, injury in fact, allegations

Banking Law, Consumer Protection, Fair Credit Reporting, Consumer Reports, Business & Corporate Compliance, Employer Liability, Labor & Employment Law, Employer Liability, Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Standing, Elements, Governments, Courts, Common Law, Legislation, Statutory Remedies & Rights, Banking & Finance, Fair Credit Reporting, Liability for Violations, Dismissal, Involuntary Dismissals, Appellate Review, Failure to State Claims