An Oregon woman who won an $18.6 million award after taking on Equifax over errors on her credit report will receive $302, 382 to pay her attorney's fees and other legal costs, U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown has ruled.
But Julie Miller's original federal jury award announced last July, one of the highest-ever damages in a lawsuit against a top credit reporting agency, was reduced on appeal to $2.1 million and Equifax has appealed again to have that sum sliced.
The federal jury in the case was told that Miller contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Miller found the problem after being denied credit by a bank in early December 2009. She alerted Equifax and filled out multiple forms faxed by the credit agency seeking updated information.
Equifax had confused another the plaintiff with another "Julie Miller," even down to have a wrong Social Security number and birthday on the right Julie Miller's report. She'd alleged that the mix-up hurt her credit history and prevented her from taking out a loan to help her disabled brother.
Miller's lawsuit, filed in October 2011, alleged the Atlanta-based company failed to correct the mistakes.
A Federal Trade Commission study last year of 1,000 consumers who reviewed 2,968 credit reports found 21% contained errors. The survey found that 5% of the errors represented issues that would lead consumers to be denied credit.