Woman awarded $83 million after collection agency sued her for $1,000 she never owedBy Mason White 11:50 AM May 21, 2015
|Maria Guadalupe Mejia|
By: Tanya Malhotra
A collection agency learned the hard way not to harass innocent people.
51-year-old Maria Guadalupe Mejia won her lawsuit against a collection agency that would not stop harassing her over money she never owed.
Mejia of Missouri, was awarded a whopping $83 million after the collection agency sued her for a $1,000.
The company, Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC, was found guilty by a Kansas City jury of malicious prosecution after trying to collect the debt from Mejia. The debt actually belonged to a man with a similar name.
The company was fined $250,000 for violating the Fair Debt and Collection Practices Act and $82,990,000 in punitive damages for malicious prosecution.
Mejia said that although she knew she did not owe the company money, she and her family were absolutely terrified when she was served the lawsuit.
The woman claimed that the collection agency pursued her over the debt for 15 months after she first received the notification of the lawsuit.
Portfolio Recovery spokesman Michael McKeon denied her claim and said the company dropped the case as soon as it realized that Mejia wasn’t the debt owner.
The company will appeal. “This outlandish verdict defies all common sense,” the company said.