This five year old TCPA case, Salerno v. Credit One Bank, N.A., 15-CV-516 (JLS), 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133636 (W.D.N.Y. July 28, 2020), is still churning.
As background, in June 2015, Plaintiff Kimberly Salerno filed a TCPA suit alleging 466 robocalls on her cellphone—a number she alleged she never provided to Defendant Credit One— in connection to money that her boyfriend owed Credit One on his own separate account. Credit One compelled arbitration on account of the arbitration provision in their credit card agreements. After years of battle, the Arbitrator awarded her $500 in damages for each call, for a total award of $233,000. Credit One then requested a second de novo arbitration before a three member panel. In a decision dated September 21, 2018, the panel awarded Plaintiff $232,500 in statutory damages for 465 calls made without her express prior consent.
On December 21, 2018, Credit One moved to vacate the Arbitrators’ Award as well as to seal numerous arbitration documents. On January 11, 2019. Plaintiff cross-moved to confirm the Arbitrators’ Award, and for post-award prejudgment interest (essentially additional money a court can award based on interest the judgment could have earned over the period of time from when the claimant was entitled to receive those monies). The judge affirmed the $232,500 award but the Motion for prejudgment interest was denied.
The judge found that the whopping $232,500 damages award against Credit One “involves a statutory damages remedy that far exceeds actual damages and is fundamentally punitive in nature.” As such, the judge held denying prejudgment interest appropriate. Some good with the bad here folks. Will keep an eye on this one in case there are any more developments.