The Daily Record, Western New York’s Source for Law, Real Estate, and Finance information asked Alexander Douglas for his perspective on the Rule 68 decision reached by the US Supreme court.
Alexander Douglas, a consumer protection lawyer at Gensund and Pailet, said the case will have broad implication for cases involving statute-defined damage limits. For example, it will affect cases involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In those cases and individual could collect up up to $1000, plus attorney fees.
“That is not a whole lot of money, but for a calls action the damages are the lesser of $500,000 or 1 percent of the net worth of the defendant” Douglas said.
“So this Rule 68 offer of the judgement technique was occurring a lot in that field as well because the companies just decided it’s going to be a lot easier to pay this one defendant$1000, and however many attorney’s fees, which probably aren’t that many at that time, and avoid a class action where you’re looking at, not just potentially a half million dollars, but also all of the attorney’s fees.” Douglas said.
“Class action offered the only real incentive to comply with the FDCPA because otherwise, if you could shut down a class action as soon as the individual comes forward, then most debt collectors would happily do that”
The Daily Record – January 25, 2016.