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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Massachusetts State Appeals Court orders a consumer has standing to sue in state court under the FCRA without federal standing

Courts Massachusetts FCRA Appellate Standing

Courts

On January 11, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals ordered that an employee has standing to sue in state court, despite lacking standing to sue in a federal court. The employee (plaintiff) sued a prospective employer for allegedly conducting a background check in a manner that violated the FCRA. The defendant successfully sought to have the case moved from state court to federal court. In federal court, the defendant was granted a motion to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiff lacked standing under Article III, which requires that the plaintiff allege a “concrete” injury. Ultimately, the case was remanded to state court, where the Superior Court dismissed the FCRA claims. The plaintiff appealed, and the appellate court ruled that the plaintiff had alleged facts sufficient to support standing to sue in state court, as the applicable standard did not require a showing of “concrete” harm.