07 December 2007

TGIS: Thank God It's Schadenfreude! (144)

This week's joy in the misfortune of others comes courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel (from Tuesday, December 4; link good at time of posting):
Angela P. Williams says she got nothing but a runaround from Equifax as she tried for more than a decade to clear up an identity mix-up that ruined her credit. Now she's hitting the credit-reporting giant where it hurts: on the bottom line.

An Orlando jury awarded Williams a multimillion-dollar verdict against Equifax for years of failing to correct dramatic errors in Williams' credit report that led to her credit score being trashed.

Atlanta-based Equifax must pay the medical-transcription worker $219,000 in actual damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages for negligent violation of federal credit-reporting laws, according to the verdict Friday in state Circuit Court in Orlando.

. . . .

At trial, her lawyers -- including co-counsel Robert Sola of Portland, Ore. -- showed how Equifax repeatedly confused Williams with someone who had a similar name but whose credit file was rife with bad debt.

Though Williams disputed and debunked the errors numerous times, Equifax kept passing along the false information, ruining her credit, she testified. After eight years of trying to resolve the issue, she sued the company in 2003. Two earlier defendants -- Experian and American Recovery Systems -- settled the case out of court.

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