United States: Furnisher’s Reliance On The ACDV Without Supportive Investigation Testimony Not Enough To Win On Summary Judgment

Peter Dickman v. Verizon Communications, Inc. dba Verizon Wireless, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90188 (E.D. NY. Jun. 28, 2012)

Facts: Plaintiff Peter Dickman alleged that Defendant Verizon Communications, Inc. ("Verizon") violated 15 U.S.C. §§1681s-2(a) and (b) of the FCRA, by furnishing inaccurate information to the credit reporting agencies ("the CRAs") and failing to delete inaccurate information. Plaintiff also alleged that Verizon engaged in deceptive business practices in violation of New York General Business Law § 349 by failing to maintain reasonable procedures designed to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff's credit information. Plaintiff filed suit over the negative credit reporting of a Verizon phone/DSL account that he believed had been terminated. Verizon agreed that Plaintiff's old account terminated, but claimed that Plaintiff opened a new account soon thereafter and was sent billing statements which went unpaid. Verizon's representative provided testimony that the documents provided in discovery were not the actual bills, but rather were merely similar in format to the actual bills sent. Plaintiff wrote a letter to Verizon, in which he stated that he had reviewed his credit report, had disputed the information contained therein with the CRAs, and that the results of the CRAs' investigation came back "verified." In the letter, Plaintiff disputed the $200 delinquency amount, denied having opened a new Verizon account, and requested that Verizon send him the proper proof that what Verizon was reporting was true. Plaintiff also sent this letter to the CRAs which resulted in the account being verified as accurately reporting. Plaintiff claimed that he suffered credit denials and mental anguish damages as a result of the inaccurate credit reporting of the Verizon account. Verizon filed its motion for summary judgment which was denied as to Plaintiff's §1681s-2(b) claim. Although not raised by Verizon in its motion, Plaintiff's state law claim was found to be preempted by the FCRA and was appropriately dismissed by the Court.

  • Furnisher Investigation. There is "no private right of action" under §1681s-2(a), because the duties imposed under this statute are only enforceable by a governmental agency or official.
  • Furnisher Investigation. Although Verizon argued that the existence of the ACDVs showed that Verizon conducted a satisfactory investigation of Plaintiff's dispute in compliance with §1681s-2(b), the Court held that a fact issue exists because Verizon presented no testimony from any of the Verizon employees whose names are listed on the ACDVs nor proffered any testimony from those employees who actually conducted the investigation following the CRAs' notification of a dispute.
  • Furnisher Investigation. Verizon argued that it conducted a reasonable investigation of Plaintiff's dispute because a review of Plaintiff's bills revealed that over 100 local telephone calls were made and/or received from Plaintiff's telephone number following the start date of the new account. The Court, however, had no evidence before it that indicated Verizon actually reviewed the bills as part of its statutorily required investigation. Note: Even if there was evidence to that effect, the Court indicated that such evidence alone would not establish as a matter of law that Verizon complied with §1681s-2. The Court pointed to the fact issue that Plaintiff denied receiving any bills from Verizon coupled with Verizon's own witness testimony that the documents proffered by Verizon were not actually "bills," nor did such documents confirm that actual bills were ever sent to Plaintiff's address.
  • Preemption. Though §1681t(b)(1)(F) appears to preempt all state law claims against furnishers of information, Congress did not withdraw §1681h(e) -- which preempts certain state law claims, but impliedly permits others -- when it added §1681t(b)(1)(F) to the Code in 1996.
  • Preemption. District courts have adopted different approaches in addressing preemption arguments. Some courts have embraced the "statutory approach" - that §1681t(b)(1)(F) "preempts only state statutory claims against furnishers of information." Others have found the "total preemption" approach to be more appropriate - that §1681t(b)(1)(F) "preempts both state statutes and common law causes of action that related to the subject matters listed in Section 1681s-2." Still others have held that the "temporal approach" best addresses the issue - that State law claims based on actions of a furnisher that occurred after the furnisher received notice of inaccuracies are held preempted by §1681t(b)(1)(F), while actions taken before notice has been received may not be preempted. Note: The Court did not need to adopt any one approach as the result would have been the same under all three: Plaintiff's claim under GBL § 349 was a statutory claim which therefore would be clearly preempted under the "statutory approach" and "total preemption approach." Under the temporal approach, the claim would still have been preempted because Plaintiff's claim -- that he notified Verizon of his disputes but Verizon continued to incorrectly report that Plaintiff owed $200 -- "falls squarely within the scope of §1681s-2."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.