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Twumasi-Ankrah v. Checkr, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

July 19, 2019

CHRISTOPHER TWUMASI-ANKRAH Plaintiff,
v.
CHECKR, INC., Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DONALD C. NUGENT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the Motion of Defendant Checkr, Inc., ("Checkr") to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. (ECF #23). For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is granted.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff Christopher Twumasi-Ankrah brings this action against Defendant Checkr, a consumer reporting agency, for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. See Amended Complaint (ECF #20) Plaintiff alleges that he was a driver for Uber and that Uber submitted his name to Defendant and requested that Checkr provide a routine background screening report. (ECF #20, ¶¶ 6, 8) Checkr performed the background screening, which included Plaintiffs driving history abstract provided by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles ("BMV"). The driving history provided by the BMV included three accidents that Plaintiff was allegedly involved in on October 23, 2015? December 19, 2015 and February 17, 2017. As Checkr was allegedly aware, the BMV includes in its driving history abstracts of all accidents that a driver was involved in, regardless of fault(Id. ¶¶ 11) Checkr did not undertake any further measures to determine whether Plaintiff was at fault in any of the three accidents and furnished a Report to Uber that showed Plaintiff was involved in the three accidents without indicating whether he was at fault. (Id. ¶¶ 12-13) Upon receiving the Report from Checkr, Uber terminated Plaintiffs contract due to the accidents contained in the Report. Plaintiff believes that Uber terminated the contract because it assumed Plaintiff was at fault in all of the accidents reported by Checkr. (Id. ¶¶ 18-19)

         Plaintiff asserts that he was not at fault in at least two of the accidents, the December 19, 2015 and the February 17, 2017 accidents. Plaintiff was found not guilty to the charges against him in the December 19, 2015 accident and was the victim of a hit-and-run in the February 17, 2017 accident. Plaintiff submitted the Court's Order finding him not guilty with respect to the December 2015 accident and the Police Crash Report regarding the February 17, 2017 accident to Checkr to dispute the accuracy of the report that it provided to Uber. In response to Plaintiffs dispute, Checkr responded that the original report was accurate and refused to supplement or amend the report. (Id. ¶¶20-25, 27-28)

         Plaintiff alleges Checkr failed to take any steps to determine whether Plaintiff was at fault in any of the accidents listed in the BMV driving abstract and thus failed to verify that all material information regarding the accidents was included in Plaintiffs report before furnishing it to Uber. (Id. ¶32) As such, Plaintiff asserts that Checkr has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act's requirement that a consumer reporting agency "must follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of information concerning the individual about whom the report relates." (Id. ¶ 36-37).

         Defendant now moves to dismiss the Plaintiffs Claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff has filed a brief in opposition and Defendant has filed a reply brief in support.

         Standard of Review

         A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a defendant to test the legal sufficiency of a complaint without being subject to discovery. See Yuhasz v. Brush Wellman, Inc., 341 F.3d 559, 566 (6th Cir. Ohio 2003). In evaluating a motion to dismiss, the court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its factual allegations as true, and draw reasonable inferences in favorable of the plaintiff. See Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. Ky. 2007). The court will not, however, accept conclusions of law or unwarranted inferences cast in the form of factual allegations. See Gregory v. Shelby County, 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir. Tenn. 2000). In order to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must provide the grounds of the entitlement to relief, which requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action. See Bell All Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007). That is, "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Id. (internal citation omitted); see Association of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, No. 06-3823, 2007 WL 2768285, at *2 (6th Cir. Ohio Sept. 25, 2007) (recognizing that the Supreme Court "disavowed the oft-quoted Rule 12(b)(6) standard of Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)")- Accordingly, the claims set forth in a complaint must be plausible, rather than conceivable. See Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1974.

         On a motion brought under Rule 12(b)(6), the court's inquiry is limited to the content of the complaint, although matters of public record, orders, items appearing in the record of the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint may also be taken into account. See Amini v. Oberlin College, 259 F.3d 493, 502 (6th Cir. Ohio 2001); Bowers vo Wynne, 615 F.3d 455, 470 (6th Cir. 2010)(courts may take judicial notice of "administrative agency policy statements and filings with those agencies.'').

         Discussion

         Plaintiffs Amended Complaint asserts a single violation of § 1681e(b) of the FCRA. In order to state a claim for a violation § 1681e(b), a plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to establish the following four elements:

(1) the defendant reported inaccurate information about the plaintiff;
(2) the defendant either negligently or willfully failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the ...

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