Plaintiff sued defendant after her credit file was mixed up with another customer. Plaintiff hired a Credit Damage Expert Witness to assist in the case. The defendant filed a motion to exclude this testimony, which was denied in part and granted in part.
Facts: This case (Anderson v. Equifax Information Services, LLC – United States District Court – District of Kansas – March 29th, 2018) involves credit reports and credit damage. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant erroneously mixed her credit file with another customer, sold credit reports that included information belonging to the other customer, and failed to remove this information from her credit file. The plaintiff sued the defendant for violation of various provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and subsequently hired Credit Damage Expert Witness Evan Hendricks to provide testimony. The defendant filed a motion to exclude Mr. Hendrick’s expert witness testimony.
Discussion: First, the defendant argues that Mr. Hendricks does not qualify to opine on certain matters in this case, specifically, how the defendant’s algorithm operates, how the defendant relies on Automated Consumer Dispute Verification to reinvestigate issues, and other issues. The plaintiff argues that based on his thirty years editing a publication on the topic as well as authoring books and being an expert witness in previous cases, he is qualified. The court agreed with the plaintiff on this issue, opining that through his experience, he has gained expertise on this issue. Thus, this part of the motion to exclude was denied.
The defendant also argues that Mr. Hendricks does not qualify to testify about the damages the plaintiff has suffered. In addition, the defendant maintains that this testimony will not be helpful to the trier of fact nor is it reliable. The court agrees with the defendant on this issue, stating that Mr. Hendricks does not possess the right qualifications to opine on this issue and that it would not be helpful to the trier of fact.
Third, the defendant argues that Mr. Hendrick’s testimony regarding the defendant’s state of mind should be excluded. The court agrees with the defendant on this issue as well, stating that this part of the expert testimony is speculative and not supported by sufficient facts or data. The court also stated that Mr. Hendrick’s is no more qualified to opine on the defendant’s state of mind than the members of the jury.
Last, the defendants argue that parts of Mr. Hendrick’s testimony amount to legal conclusions and should be excluded. The court again agreed with the defendant and opined that Mr. Hendrick’s opinions that form legal conclusions will be excluded as it relates to the reasonableness of defendant’s procedures.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Credit Damage Expert Witness Evan Hendricks was granted in part and denied in part.