... Julie Miller of Marion County, who was awarded $18.4 million in punitive and $180,000 in compensatory damages, contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes.
... The issue wasn't a result of identify theft, Baxter said. Instead, the information from another "Julie Miller" had simply been placed in the plaintiff's record by mistake. In at least one case, the lawsuit alleged, the plaintiff's private financial information was sent to companies inquiring about the other Julie Miller.
Also according to the article,
A Federal Trade Commission study earlier this year of 1,001 consumers who reviewed 2,968 of their credit reports found 21 percent contained errors. The survey, which is required as part of a 2003 law, found that 5 percent of the errors represented issues that would lead consumers to be denied credit. Read more
A 2012 investigation by the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch newspaper reviewed nearly 30, 000 consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general in 24 states about unresolved errors made by the largest consumer credit agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The newspaper found that with complaints about errors, consumers reported it had taken many months to fix even the most basic mistakes.
Equifax is expected to appeal the decision.