In Martin Valenzuela, v. Equifax Information Services LLC, 2015 WL 6811585, at *2-3 (D.Ariz., 2015), Judge Rayes disqualified Plaintiff’s expert Evan Hendricks from testifying about much of Plaintiff’s FCRA case, except whether Experian had reasonableness policies and procedures.
Hendricks is qualified to testify about Equifax’s “inner workings” and opine on the reasonableness of its credit reporting policies and procedures. For thirty-three years, Hendricks researched, wrote, edited, and published a bi-weekly newsletter covering various aspects of the FCRA. (Doc 114-2 at 28.) For ten years, he served as a privacy expert consultant for the Social Security Administration, where he reviewed policies and practices regarding use and disclosure of personal data. (Id.) Hendricks also has a FCRA certification from the National Credit Reporting Association. (Doc. 114-2 at 32.) Additionally, Hendricks has testified about the FCRA and related matters before the United States House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee, and has been admitted as an expert witness to testify on similar matters in both state and federal courts. (Id. at 28-29, 33-41.) These experiences qualify Hendricks to offer expert witness testimony on certain topics in this case. For example, Hendricks may testify about the indicia of a mixed file, typical and best practices for identifying and correcting a mixed file, and the FCRA’s standards for correcting a mixed file. Contrary to Equifax’s assertions, this information is not common sense or within a layperson’s knowledge. Indeed, a layperson is not likely to have independent knowledge of the intricacies of a partial matching algorithm, the role it plays in developing a credit report, and the reasonableness of the Automated Consumer Dispute Verification Exchange (“ACDV”). Hendricks’ specialized knowledge on these topics will assist the trier of fact. . . . II. Equifax’s State of Mind. Hendricks’ testimony about Equifax’s motivations, intentions, objective state of mind, and subjective beliefs is improper because it usurps the province of the fact-finder, which is responsible for drawing reasonable inferences about Equifax’s state of mind from the evidence presented at trial. Hendricks’ opinion will not assist the fact-finder in drawing these inferences. He will not be permitted to opine on these subjects. III. Valenzuela’s Damages Hendricks intends to discuss the negative effects of inaccurate credit reports, which could affect damages. (Doc. 114-2, ¶¶ 60-62.) These include: (1) effects of inaccurate credit reports, (2) improper denial of credit, (3) the value of time and energy to correct errors, (4) wrongfully received debt collection calls, (5) the chilling effect in applying for credit, (6) sleeplessness and physical symptoms, (7) sense of helplessness, and (8) emotional distress. (Id., ¶ 61.) Equifax contends Hendricks “lacks the expertise necessary to opine that a ‘sense of helplessness’ leads to monetary damages.” (Doc. 114-1 at 6.) Likewise, because he is not an “accountant, economist, or financial planner,” he does not have “the expertise necessary to opine that a consumer may be damaged based on ‘the time and energy required to solve’ his purported ‘problem’ . . . .” (Id.) Valenzuela responds that Hendricks’ testimony will provide “helpful context” for determining damages, and that Hendricks is qualified to address these topics because they are “typical consequences of false credit reports.” (Doc. 115 at 11.) Hendricks is not qualified to address physical, emotional, or economic effects of an inaccurate credit report, or to estimate the value of “expended time and energy to correct errors…in addition to loss of time and energy, loss of opportunity.” Moreover, his testimony will not assist the fact-finder because Valenzuela may testify about how the alleged credit reporting inaccuracies impacted him physically, emotionally, and economically, and about the time and energy he spent to resolve the alleged credit reporting inaccuracies. Hendricks will not be permitted to opine on Valenzuela’s damages.