A jury in Montana awarded $311,000 last week to a Montana man who was sued by the debt collection law firm of Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger. JRL tried to seize his social security disability payments to satisfy a judgment for CACV, a debt buyer. The jury awarded $1,000 in statutory damages, $250,000 for the consumer’s emotional distress, and another $60,000 for punitive damages, the maximum permitted by Montana law.
In response to Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger’s collection lawsuit, Timothy McCollough answered:
3. When workers comp stopped paying I ran out of money. Chase would not work with me, they passed it on to collectors- they lied to me, they insulted me, they used bad language, they called around the clock so I could not rest. They got me so wound up and confused my healing of my head injury stopped. They were hurting me so I stopped with them so I could recover, I’m still recovering. The pain they cossed (sic) is worth more than the money they want.
4. This is the third time they have brought me to court on this account, the first two time with Judge Hernandez, when will it stop. Do I have to sue them so I can live quietly in pain?
John Heenan represented the consumer, and obviously did a fantastic job. During the case, Billings, MT, attorney James Patten testified that JRL is a debt-collection “factory” that mass-produces complaints when it does not have the documentation to back them up.