OWENSBORO, Ky. - A federal class action claims that General Information Services misidentified "thousands of employment applicants" as criminal defendants, because they posted bond for someone else who had been arrested.
Lead plaintiff Betty Lacy sued General Information Services for a nationwide class estimated in the thousands. GIS is based in Chapin, S.C.
"Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of thousands of employment applicants throughout the country who have been the subject of prejudicial, misleading, and inaccurate background reports performed by the defendant and sold to employers," the lawsuit states. "Defendant has adopted and maintained a policy of misidentifying sureties, consumers who post bond for someone who has been arrested, as criminal defendants in a criminal case, therefore misidentifying an innocent consumer as having a criminal record. The prejudice caused by this erroneous reporting is exacerbated by defendant's failure to notify the consumer contemporaneously of the fact that the inaccurate criminal record information is being sent to the employer.
"As a result, consumers who are entitled to receive copies of their consumer files from defendant pursuant to section 1681k of the FCRA [Fair Credit Reporting Act] are deprived of a proper and timely disclosure, and unable to adequately verify and/or dispute the accuracy of the information that defendant sells to employers. Defendant's practice harms consumers seeking employment by prejudicing their prospective employers with inaccurate and misleading information, and harms interstate commerce as a whole."
Lacy seeks class certification, statutory damages of $100 to $1,000 for each violation of two sections of the FCRA, punitive damages and costs.
Her lead counsel is Ronald Burdge, of Dayton, Ohio.