In Robinson v. National Credit Systems, Inc., 2018 WL 1877462 (M.D.Fla.), 4 (M.D.Fla., 2018), the District Court struck a number of affirmative defenses as not resembling actual defenses, but let stand an affirmative defense to an FCRA claim derived from common law negligence.
In its fifth affirmative defense, National argues, “any damages suffered by the Plaintiff[s] should be apportioned in accordance with the fault or legal responsibility of all other parties, persons, agents, or entities, who caused such damages based upon evidence as presented at trial.” Doc. 41 ¶ 111. Plaintiffs assert this is insufficient because it fails to “provide any information as to what other parties are purportedly responsible for Plaintiffs’ damages, [or] how they are so responsible.” Doc. 44 at 6. National contends other third parties over whom it has no control “may be contributorily negligent or responsible for any damages,” and the affirmative defense thus alleges a valid defense. Doc. 48 at 6.Comparative fault is a valid defense in negligence claims. See Bre/Cocoa Beach Owner, L.L.C. v. Rolyn Cos., Inc., 2012 WL 12905849, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 30, 2012). Here, National may properly raise a comparative fault defense because Plaintiffs’ complaint alleges a negligence cause of action under the FCRA. See Doc. 1 ¶¶ 47-63 (alleging National negligently violated the FCRA); see also Bruno v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, Civ. No. 2:17-0327 WBS EFB, 2017 WL 2833393, at *3 (E.D. Cal. June 30, 2017) (denying motion to strike comparative fault defense where plaintiff alleged a negligence cause of action under the FCRA). This defense is sufficiently pled and provides fair notice of the nature of the defense. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion to strike National’s fifth affirmative defense will be denied.