USC seeks to get fraud class action thrown out

By Carrie Salls | Aug 7, 2017

LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California is asking the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed against the university and 10 unnamed “Doe” defendants amid allegations that the plaintiffs’ credit card information was compromised because more than five digits of the card numbers were printed on receipts.

The credit card information was allegedly printed on receipts generated by one or more of the university’s retail locations.

In its June 22 motion to dismiss, the university said the “plaintiffs’ complaint offers only boilerplate allegations asserting violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).”

“Like many cut-and-paste FACTA complaints, these allegations fail to establish that plaintiffs suffered actual harm or that a willful violation of FACTA was committed,” the motion said.

Southern California said Congress passed a subsequent law after FACTA was passed, clarifying that the purpose of FACTA was to protect consumers from “any actual harm to their credit or identity” and to curb the amount of frivolous lawsuit filed after FACTA became law.

As a result, the university said in the motion that “numerous courts have since explored the requirement of ‘actual harm’ within the context of FACTA and have held that plaintiffs must allege more than mere statutory violations under the act to establish such harm.”

According to the motion, the plaintiffs do not actually say in their class action lawsuit that their credit card information was stolen or “much less viewed” by anyone who should not have access to it.

In addition, USC said “what few allegations plaintiffs provide are so generic that they could apply to nearly any business,” and the arguments that are presented by the plaintiffs actually show that USC and the other defendants did not intentionally compromise the plaintiffs’ credit card information.

However, the motion to dismiss said the plaintiffs argued in their lawsuit that USC “knew of or should have known of, and were informed about” the provisions of FACTA.

A hearing on the dismissal motion is scheduled for Sept. 7.

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