Firm News

$18.6 Million Verdict against Equifax in Fair Credit Reporting Case Act (Miller v. Equifax)*

As reported by the Oregonian:

A jury awarded an Oregon woman $18.6 million after she spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.

Julie Miller, who was awarded $18.4 million in punitive and $180,000 in compensatory damages, contacted Equifax seven times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes.

"There was damage to her reputation, a breach of her privacy and the lost opportunity to seek credit," said Justin Baxter, the Portland attorney who teamed on the case with his father and law partner, Michael Baxter. "She has a brother who is disabled and who can't get credit on his own and she wasn't able to help him."

* Verdicts not intended to be representative.

$100,000 Jury Verdict in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Case

On November, 4, 2010, a Multnomah County jury returned a $100,000 verdict for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and invasion of privacy. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants sued the plaintiff, Linda West of Bend, Oregon, for a delinquent Chase credit card account which did not belong to her. The suit claimed that defendants obtained a judgment against Ms. West and sent her collection letters even after Ms. West had notified the defendants that she was not the correct account holder. Ms. West's attorneys were Michael Baxter and Justin Baxter of Baxter & Baxter, LLP.

$95,000 Jury Verdict in Unlawful Collection Harassment Case

Portland, Oregon. A Multnomah County jury returned a verdict of $95,000 against TRS Home Furnishings on August 26, 2010.

Ms. Edwards obtained furniture from TRS Home Furnishings, an assumed business name for The Rental Store. TRS partners with furniture stores across the country, including Ashley Furniture, and Mor Furniture in Oregon, and provides financing for lease purchase or rent-to-own transactions. In June of 2008, TRS agreed to a temporary reduction of the monthly payment. Before the next payment came due, TRS began harassing Ms. Edwards with a multitude of calls to her cell phone and workplace. The credit manager left menacing voicemails threatening to have Ms. Edwards jailed and prosecuted for a felony. Ms. Edwards borrowed money and attempted to pay off the entire balance, however, her letters were returned. TRS swore out false charges to have her arrested by the Springfield police, and charged by the Lane County DA. Those charges were subsequently dismissed.

Ms. Edwards attorney was Justin Baxter of Baxter & Baxter, LLP.

$107,000 Verdict in Injury Case*

Portland, Oregon. A Multnomah County jury has returned a verdict of $107,000 in a MVA case today. The case was Hunter v. Boyson. Plaintiff's lawyer was Mike Baxter. Ms. Hunter was a passenger that was rear ended while stopped in traffic. Plaintiff alleged that the impact aggravated a pre-existing injury, causing continuing pain in the low back.

* Verdicts not intended to be representative

$200,000 Verdict against Equifax in Credit Reporting Case (Valentine v. Equifax)*

Portland, Oregon.

A jury in Portland, Oregon has returned a verdict of $200,000 against Equifax Information Services, LLC, for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Plaintiff's counsel were Portland attorneys Mike Baxter and Justin Baxter.

Ms. Valentine, a high school librarian from Portland, has been disputing fraudulent accounts and information on her Equifax credit reports since 1987, including false and derogatory medical bills and collection accounts. The bills were incurred by a woman in Texas fraudulently using Ms. Valentine's identity. Ms. Valentine sent Equifax police reports, letters from creditors, and detailed correspondence, but Equifax refused to delete false accounts and other false information. Even when accounts were deleted, they would subsequently reappear months or years later. As a result of Equifax's false reporting, Ms. Valentine had to be removed from the deed to her family's home, and endured years of futile attempts to have her otherwise perfect credit restored.

* Verdicts not intended to be representative.

$210,000 Verdict against Equifax in Credit Reporting Case (Kirkpatrick v. Equifax)*

Portland, Oregon.

A jury in Portland, Oregon returned a $210,000 verdict against Equifax Information Services, LLC, today in a Fair Credit Reporting Act case. Plaintiff's counsel were Portland attorneys Mike Baxter and Robert Sola.

In 2000, Matt Kirkpatrick learned that he was the victim of identity theft. Some thirty false credit lines showing collections, charge offs, and delinquencies appeared on his Equifax credit reports. Equifax repeatedly lost or failed to acknowledge receipt of Mr. Kirkpatrick's dispute letters, which contained copies of police reports, letters from creditors, and copies of his driver's license and social security number. Mr. Kirkpatrick continued to receive inaccurate credit reports for over four years. He was denied home improvement loans to complete an addition to his home and spent incalculable time attempting to get Equifax to remove false and derogatory information from his credit report.

* Verdicts not intended to be representative.

$5.3 Million Verdict in Fair Credit Reporting Act Case against Trans Union (Thomas v. Trans Union)*

A jury in Portland, Oregon returned a $5.3 million verdict against Trans Union, LLC, in a Fair Credit Reporting Act case. Plaintiff's counsel were Portland attorneys Mike Baxter, of Baxter & Baxter, LLP, and Robert Sola.

Judy Thomas of Klamath Falls battled for years with Trans Union in a futile attempt to Judith Upton remove the derogatory credit accounts of another person from her credit reports. Thomas' attorney, Michael Baxter noted, "It came out that the head of TransUnion's dispute department did not know the law or was [not] requiring that Trans Union employees follow the law."

The jury's verdict included $300,000 in compensatory damages, and $5 million in punitive damages.

* Verdicts not intended to be representative.

| Michael Baxter

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