United States Fourth Circuit

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Saunders v. Branch Banking and Trust Co. of Virginia, 07-1108

In an action alleging violation of defendant-lender's duties as a furnisher of information under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), judgment against defendant including a denial of defendant's motions for judgment as a mater of law and for remittitur is affirmed where: 1) a decision by defendant to report a debt to credit reporting agencies without mention of a dispute was in violation of section 1681s-2 of the FCRA; 2) plaintiff was able to demonstrate that defendant knowingly and intentionally withheld information of a valid dispute from credit reporting agencies; 3) there were sufficient facts for a jury to find that plaintiff had an excuse for failing to make payments; and 4) an $80,000 punitive award was not grossly excessive in light of defendant's reprehensible conduct and the fact that a lower award would not have a punitive or deterrent effect.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 05/14/2008
  • Published 05/14/2008

Judges

  • Before MICHAEL and MOTZ, Circuit Judges, and IRENE M. KEELEY, United States District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, sitting by designation.

Court

  • United States Fourth Circuit

Counsel

  • For Appellees:
  • ARGUED:  Alan Durrum Wingfield, Troutman & Sanders, L.L.P., Richmond, Virginia, for Appellant.  Richard John Rubin, Santa Fe, New Mexico, for Appellee.   ON BRIEF:  Megan C. Rahman, Joshua Heslinga, Troutman & Sanders, L.L.P., Richmond, Virginia, for Appellant.  Leonard A. Bennett, Newport News, Virginia, for Appellee.
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