The New York District Court ruled that the consumer didn’t have a right to sue a government agency.
02/02/2023 1:10 P.M.
1.5 minute read
In a recent New York District Court case, Jiang v. American Express and The CFPB, No. 22-CV-2272 AMD TAM, 2023 WL 144127 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 10, 2023), the consumer, who alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, turned the tables and sued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as American Express.
The plaintiff, Xiaoguang Jiang, alleged that American Express did not apply an $8,446.41 payment to his credit card account, and then erroneously informed credit reporting agencies that his account was delinquent. The plaintiff disputed the delinquency, but American Express refused to remove it from his credit report. The plaintiff also claimed that after he filed a complaint with the CFPB, American Express submitted fraudulent billing statements to rebut the plaintiff’s allegations before the agency. He sought $80 million in damages, as well as various forms of injunctive relief to repair his credit score and reputation.
The CFPB and American Express moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim.
The consumer’s claims against American Express had already been addressed in a related state court action, and so those claims were barred by the legal doctrine of res judicata.
The court noted that the FCRA does not contain a waiver of sovereign immunity, so the consumer didn’t have a right to sue a government agency, and the consumer would have had to exhaust any administrative remedies before being able to pursue potential tort claims against the CFPB under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
“The court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claims against the CFPB, a federal agency, because it is immune from suit,” according to the decision.
The plaintiff’s claims against the CFPB were dismissed without prejudice because dismissal is based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, but his claims against American Express were dismissed with prejudice.
If you have executive leadership updates or other member news to share with ACA, contact our communications department at [email protected]. View our publications page for more information and our news submission guidelines here.