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Smith v. Bob Smith Chevrolet, Inc.
United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
275 F. Supp. 2d 808 (2003)
Christopher Smith (plaintiff) agreed to buy a car from Bob Smith Chevrolet, Inc. (the dealership) (defendant) and trade in his old car. Smith had not fully paid off his old car, and this was taken into account in the final price to be paid for the new car. Once the parties agreed to a price, Smith bought the car. The dealership soon discovered that a dealership employee inadvertently had twice entered the discount to which Smith was entitled. The dealership thus sought additional payment from Smith and withheld the title to the car. At this point, the dealership accessed Smith’s credit report. Smith sued the dealership for breach of the sales contract and won in state court. Smith also sued the dealership in federal court for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it accessed his credit report. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The dealership argued that it accessed the credit report for a legitimate business need related to the transaction that Smith originated. The dealership also argued that the transaction involved collection of an account from Smith, given that the dealership claimed Smith still owed money for the car.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Heyburn, C.J.)
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