In Macy v. GC Services, Ltd., 2018 WL 3614580, at *9–10 (C.A.6 (Ky.), 2018), the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that FDPCA Plaintiffs, and their class, had Spokeo standing.
Thus, Lyshe is distinguishable. Here, the harm Plaintiffs allege—being misled by a debt collector about the rights the FDCPA gives to debtors—is precisely the type of harm—abusive debt-collection practices—the FDCPA was designed to prevent. Nor is Hagy v. Demers & Adams, 882 F.3d 616 (6th Cir. 2018), our most recent opinion addressing FDCPA standing, of any help to GC. Hagy involved a claim alleging violations of the FDCPA based on a letter that failed to disclose that it was a “communication … from a debt collector.” Id. at 621-23. In dismissing the claim on standing grounds, we observed that the plaintiffs “have not shown, in truth have not even tried to show, that this failure to disclose caused them any actual harm beyond [a] ‘bare procedural violation.’ ” Id. at 622. In fact, the allegedly deficient letter turned out to be helpful to the plaintiffs. Id. To be sure, Hagy did not conduct a risk-of-harm analysis, but no risk of harm was alleged. Indeed, Hagy explained that the claim failed in part because the plaintiffs did not allege any risk of harm, such as “that the non-disclosure created a risk of double payment,” which is the kind of abusive debt-collection practice the mandated disclosures were aimed to prevent. Id. at 621–22. Thus, Hagy is not inconsistent with Lyshe, Strubel, Spokeo II, or our decision here. Finally, GC argues that “[t]he district court incorrectly found standing based on potential harm to class members instead of” to the two named Plaintiffs. (Appellant’s Br. at 15-17.) GC is correct that potential class representatives must demonstrate “individual standing vis-a-vis the defendant; [they] cannot acquire such standing merely by virtue of bringing a class action.” Fallick v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 162 F.3d 410, 423 (6th Cir. 1998). However, we conclude de novo that the named Plaintiffs have standing, thus, even if the district court found standing based on harm to potential class members, any error in the district court’s analysis is of no significance. *10 In sum, Plaintiffs have satisfied the concreteness prong of the injury-in-fact requirement of Article III standing by alleging that GC’s purported FDCPA violations created a material risk of harm to the interests recognized by Congress in enacting the FDCPA.
The Court of Appeals also found that the District Court properly certified the class.
GC argues that “there is no commonality as [Plaintiffs] have failed in their burden to demonstrate any injury at all.” (Appellant’s Br. at 18-19, 21.)11 The district court found that Plaintiffs satisfied the commonality requirement because, as Plaintiffs alleged, ““[e]ach class member … has the same claim against” [GC]: that the company violated the FDCPA by failing to include the in-writing requirement in the debt-collection letters it sent to them[, and the] [r]esolution of this “common contention … will resolve an issue that is central to the validity of each one of the claims in one stroke.” [Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v.] Dukes, 564 U.S. [338,] 350 [ (2011) ].” Macy v. GC Servs. Ltd. P’ship, 318 F.R.D. 335, 339 (W.D. Ky. 2017) (record citations omitted). As the district court noted, “[r]eceipt of similar dunning letters from the same debt collector has repeatedly been found to satisfy Rule 23’s commonality requirement.” Id. (citing Fariasantos v. Rosenberg & Assocs., 303 F.R.D. 272, 275 (E.D. Va. 2014); Edwards v. McCormick, 196 F.R.D. 487, 494 (S.D. Ohio 2000)). Other FDCPA cases also support the district court’s finding regarding commonality. See, e.g., Quiroz v. Revenue Prod. Mgmt., Inc., 252 F.R.D. 438, 442 (N.D. Ill. 2008) (“The requisite common nucleus of operative fact exists in FDCPA claims when the controversy arises from a standard form debt collection letter.” (citations omitted)); Bicking, 2011 WL 5325674, at *2; Wess v. Storey, No. 08-623, 2011 WL 1463609, at *7 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 14, 2011). Apart from merely repackaging its standing argument with a commonality label, GC makes no effort to argue that the district court abused its discretion.