Man Sues Debt Collector's Law Firm; Wins $311,000

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A Montana man with a disabling brain injury told debt collector lawyers that the time limit for seeking payment on a debt they claimed he owed had expired and that a lawsuit had been dismissed before. But a North Dakota law firm sued him anyway, trying to collect a credit card debt on behalf of the creditor.
This time Timothy McCollough got mad. He hired a lawyer, got the suit dismissed and then sued the North Dakota law firm for violating debt collection laws.
A jury in Montana awarded $311,000 recently 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.
McCullough's lawsuit stemmed from a credit card debt he owed to Chase Manhattan Bank from the 1990s.
McCullough suffered a head injury in 1990 when he was hit with an iron bar. The injury left him disabled and eventually he began receiving Social Security benefits, which are exempt from collections.
Nevertheless, McCullough testified, he worked with other credit card companies to pay his debts. Chase was the only company that wouldn't work with him, he said.
From the, in response to Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger's collection lawsuit, Timothy McCollough answered:
    ...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.
    ...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?

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