Safeco Insurance Co. of America v. Burr
- Case Date: 11/13/2006
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On June 4, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that cracks down on frivolous lawsuits against insurers -- suits alleging technical violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) but seeking billions of dollars in damages. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief in two insurance cases (one involving Safeco and one involving GEICO). WLF argued that the plaintiffs' lawyers did not claim that their clients suffered any real damages for alleged violations of FCRA disclosure provisions (which are designed to ensure that consumers are alerted when their credit reports contain negative information), and were simply trying to extort settlements from deep-pocketed defendants. The Supreme Court agreed with WLF that the plaintiffs could not show that any alleged violations were committed "willfully" and that the suits must be dismissed in the absence of such a showing. The Court also agreed that, in the GEICO case, no violations of the FCRA were committed at all.
More Information and Downloads:
11/13/2006: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Supreme Court Cracks Down on Frivolous Insurance Suits
Press Release: Court Urged to Crack Down on Frivolous Insurance Suits