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Hardy v. Verizon Maryland Inc.

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

August 23, 2013

LA TRICIA HARDY,
v.
VERIZON MARYLAND INC

MEMORANDUM

J. FREDERICK MOTZ, District Judge.

La Tricia Hardy has brought this action against Verizon Maryland, Inc. alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §1681 et. seq. and Maryland law. Presently pending are a motion for summary judgment filed by Verizon and a motion for leave to file amended complaint filed by Hardy. Verizon's motion will be granted, and Hardy's motion will be denied.

Discovery has been completed. During her deposition plaintiff testified that she knew of Verizon's violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 2008. Her deposition echoed what she alleged in her initial complaint and in an amended complaint she filed. She filed this action on July 13, 2012. Therefore, her claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires suit to be filed within two years "after the date of discovery by the plaintiff of the violation, " is time-barred. See 15 U.S.C. §1681(p).[1]

In her proposed amended complaint, Hardy makes no reference to the fact that she learned of the violations in 2008. That, however, is immaterial. A party, whether proceeding pro se or not, cannot withstand a summary judgment motion by attempting to create an inconsistency with her sworn testimony. This is particularly true where, as here, plaintiff also made admissions in her initial complaint and amended complaint that prove the fact that she now wants to ignore.

Hardy also asserts a claim under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act. That statute prohibits unfound deceptive trade practices "in [the] sale, lease, rental, loan, or bailment of any consumer goods, consumer realty, or consumer services; [or] the offer of for sale, lease, rental, loan or bailment of consumer goods, consumer realty, or consumer services...." Morris v. Osmose Wood Preserving, 340 Md. 519, 536-37, 667 A.2d 624, 633 (1995). Plaintiff has made no allegations or offer no proof that Verizon engaged in any unfair or deceptive trade practice.[2]

As to plaintiff's motion for leave to amend, as stated above, granting leave to amend would not cure the weakness in plaintiff's claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Moreover, because discovery has been completed, it is far too late in the litigation for this court to entertain the amendment proposed by plaintiff.

A separate order effecting the rulings made in this memorandum is being entered herewith.


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