Thu, 09/12/2019 - 22:07
A California-based debt collector received an astoundingly high amount of damages in a verdict rendered this week. The jury in McMillion v. Rash Curtis & Associates, 4:16-cv-03396 (N.D. Cal.) hit the defendant with a $267 million verdict for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations on 534,000 calls.
While many debt-collection TCPA cases are never even certified, this one resulted in such enormous damages because of specific aspects of the defendant’s calling practices. Namely, the defendant called individuals through skip tracing and called individuals who had no accounts with the debt collector. These clear violations render irrelevant the murky questions relating to consent and revocation that typify most debt collection cases.
Of course, the shocking sticker price on this judgement comes as a result of the sheer number of calls placed under these faulty calling practices. The reliance on skip tracing, in particular, should be a red flag. The combination of skip tracing and an autodialer seems like a perfect recipe for record breaking damages. Like, in the neighborhood of a quarter of a billion dollars.