Causation Counts: Strategic Use of Summary Judgment Post-Spokeo

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Early scorecards in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins all note high marks in the plaintiffs’ column, especially at the motion to dismiss stage. Emboldened by these decisions, plaintiffs continue to resist the idea that the plain language of Spokeo disallows standing for bare procedural violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other comparable statutes. Instead, plaintiffs’ counsel across the country have insisted that the Spokeo decision was essentially meaningless—i.e., that it merely affirmed existing law authorizing Congress to create purely procedural rights, the violation of which equates to actual harm sufficient to confer standing under Article III.

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