A Jackson County jury ordered collection company Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC to pay $82 million dollars to KC resident Maria Guadalupe Mejia. Mejia had this debt mistakenly attached to her by Portfolio Recovery. The actual debt holder was a man with a very similar name.
Portfolio Recovery had failed to hand over documents requested by the judge regarding information in the case.
Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC is one of the largest debt buyers in the USA. “This company has gained a reputation for take no prisoners, ‘If you mess with us we’re going to take you all the way, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money on this litigation, you’re going to have to go all the way to trial,'” said Gina Chiala, one of Mejia’s attorneys according to KCUR. ““And so, among consumer lawyers, they are known to be very aggressive in litigation and to not stop; even when they’re wrong, they’re just not going to stop.”
The jury determined damages and Mejia was awarded $251,000 and $82,990,000 in punitive damages for malicious prosecution.
Portfolio spokesman Michael McKeon said “We hope and expect the judge will set aside this inappropriate award, and we plan to file motions to make the request formally in the very near term. Any fair reading of the facts of this case makes plain that a verdict of this size is not justice by any means and cannot stand.”
“I am so thankful to the jury for giving me and my family justice. This should not happen to anyone, and I hope the jury’s verdict will stop Portfolio from doing this to others.” Said Mejia
According to Credit Karma study, 1-in-4 or 25% of Americans have credit reporting errors. Mejia was just one of the many victims.
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