Barron v. Best Buy Co., Inc. et al
ORDER granting 36 Motion to Stay Proceedings Signed by Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball on 9/11/17 (RBM)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 3:16-CV-690-DPJ-FKB
BEST BUY CO., INC., / BESTBUY.COM, LLC,
CITIGROUP, INC. / CITIBANK, N.A. (CBNA),
TRANS UNION LLC,
EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES LLC,
EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS INC.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STAY
Before the Court is a Motion to Stay  filed by the three credit reporting agency (“CRA”)
defendants, Trans Union LLC, Equifax Information Services LLC, and Experian Information
Solutions, Inc. (collectively “CRA Defendants”). For the reasons described herein, the Court
grants the CRA Defendants’ motion and orders all disclosure requirements and discovery in this
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint  alleges Defendants violated various provisions of the
Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that
Best Buy and Citibank provided incorrect information regarding Plaintiff’s account to the CRA
Defendants, that the CRA Defendants failed to conduct a reasonable good faith investigation of
the information provided by Best Buy and Citibank, and that the CRA Defendants failed to follow
reasonable procedures to assure maximum accuracy of the information in their respective credit
reports relating to Plaintiff. See . On April 5, 2017, the Court entered an order compelling
arbitration as to Plaintiff’s claims against Citibank and Best Buy. . The remaining defendants,
the CRA Defendants, move the Court to stay the case pending resolution of the arbitration
proceedings between Plaintiff, Best Buy, and Citibank. .
"[T]he power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to
control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for
counsel, and for litigants." Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). “Generally, the power
to stay a pending matter derives from a trial court's wide discretion to control the course of
litigation.” United States v. $9,041,598.68, 163 F.3d 238, 251 (5th Cir. 1998).
Plaintiff alleges that the CRA Defendants violated two provisions of the FCRA: 15 U.S.C.
§§ 1681i(a)(1)(A) and §1681e(b). Section 1681i(a) requires a CRA to conduct a reasonable
investigation and make necessary corrections, free of charge, in the event that a consumer disputes
information in their consumer report. Saunders v. Equifax Info. Sys., No. A-16-CV-525-LY, 2017
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86408, at *4-5 (W.D. Tex. June 6, 2017). Section 1681e(b) requires CRAs to
“follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information
concerning the individual about whom the report relates.” See Harris v. Pa. Higher Educ.
Assistance Agency, No. 16-2963, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11067, at *5 (3d Cir. June 22, 2017).
“Importantly, to state a claim for relief under the act, the consumer must ‘establish that a credit
report contained an actual inaccuracy [otherwise] the plaintiff's claims fail as a matter of law.’”
Saunders, No. A-16-CV-525-LY, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86408, at *5 (citing Doster v. Experian
Info. Solutions, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8412, 2017 WL 264401, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 20,
2017)). For Plaintiff to make a successful claim, he must demonstrate that his consumer report
contained an actual inaccuracy. Accordingly, whether Citibank / Best Buy provided accurate
information to the CRA Defendants constitutes a threshold issue, and one that will be the subject
of the pending arbitration.
The CRA Defendants move to stay the case pending an arbitration award. They argue that
staying the case would be in the interest of judicial economy, as it would prevent the unnecessary
expenditure of resources in the event that the arbitrator determines the information Citibank / Best
Buy provided to the CRA Defendants was accurate. The Court agrees.1 The arbitration will
determine the existence or non-existence of an essential element of Plaintiff’s claims against the
CRA Defendants. The Court finds, therefore, that all disclosure requirements and discovery should
be stayed until this essential element of Plaintiff’s case has been decided in the arbitration.
The Court has taken into account the arguments made by Plaintiff in his response in
opposition to the motion. While the Court is sensitive to Plaintiff’s arguments regarding the need
to expedite this litigation due to his health, it is unclear whether denying the stay will even hasten
the outcome of this case, as the Court will be put in a position of having to await the outcome of
the arbitration proceedings regardless. Further, the Court cannot take action based on the nonexpert medical opinions of counsel.
For these reasons, the CRA Defendants’ Motion  is GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this the 11 day of September, 2017.
/s/ F. Keith Ball
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
For another case with facts substantially similar to the one sub judice where a district court determined the
appropriateness of a stay against CRAs pending arbitration between Citibank and a plaintiff, see Karmolinski v.
Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, No. 04-1448-AA, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49112, at *13 (D. Or. Oct. 27, 2005). There the
court found, “if the information Citibank provided to the credit reporting agencies was accurate and its actions did
not violate the FCRA, plaintiff may not have a cause of action against the credit reporting agencies. Therefore, this
action is stayed pending arbitration proceedings between plaintiff and Citibank.” Id. at *13-14.
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