Little Guy Wins Against Hone Depot

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Tim Douglass wrote:

I used to think that too. Then it was pointed out to me that if the government is deriving revenue from punitives the government has a strong financial motive to make it easier to obtain punitives.
Also, injunctive relief, IS pretty common, especially in class-action lawsuits.
--

FF


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Just look at all the "civil forfeitures" that are taking place with many police departments in the so called "drug war".
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Lee Michaels wrote:

punitives.
many
In some cases criminal charges are dropped in exchange for an agreement to not contest the forfeiture. The distinction between this and granting a license to break the law is somewhat difficult to articulate.
--

FF


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On 22 Feb 2005 12:56:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

Which differers in no major way from the situation now where lawyers benefit from the results of laws that are made by elected representative who are mostly lawyers.
The point has some merit, but since the cost of arguing for a punitive award would be borne by the plaintiff, but they wouldn't see any direct benefit from it, I suspect the effect would be a net positive.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Tim Douglass wrote:

Oh come on now. It is the government that defines torts, sets standards of evidence, establishes statutory damages and so on. That is a heaping big difference from the attorneys who may merely lobby for such things. Perhaps you missed the witch example?

punitive
How would it be a net positive to reduce suits for punitive damages?
Consider a suit for a lowΊlled insurance claim. Wyy would anyone sue for punitives they won't get, and therefor why would any insurance claim NOT lowball the claims and settle out-of court for a fair amount ONLY with those who sue?
--

FF


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On 22 Feb 2005 16:32:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

Something like 75% of our elected officials - the ones who make the laws - are lawyers by education and/or trade.

Sometimes people do things for justice. And I wouldn't mind them being allowed to collect a reasonable fee for their time, but this business where the lawyer gets 60% of an award, then the client gets their 40%, but all the expenses come out of theirs, is not the way to do it. I'm not saying that there isn't a place for punitive awards, but I don't believe that they should go to benefit someone just because they are the one who filed the suit.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Your proposal Tim, leaves out the valid restitution to the victim. No way I would consider that fair and equitable.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 16:47:50 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Restitution for loss is always valid and obviously should remain unchanged. The subject of my comments was punitive damages, which are unrelated to any real loss but are directly tied to the amount of cash the defendant has.
Tim Douglass
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way I

I understand. but in cases such as we're speaking of here there is little or no tangible loss, yet there is indeed significant loss. What we know of as punitive damages are the only way to compensate for those losses. I agree that punitive loss seems to be tied to the depth of the offender's pockets, and to some degree that may even be appropriate since it could be argued that a certain amount of that success was likely the result of years of the same behavior that wound them up in court. I guess as I plow through this, I find that I am a believer in punitive judgments. Not as out of hand as they have gotten over the years, but certain as a matter of course. Then again, we hear about the outrageous awards that juries issue, but we don't hear as much about the reduced awards that the judges pass down.
--

-Mike-
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On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 17:34:12 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Those are covered under what are called "non-tangible losses" or sometimes "pain and suffering". Punitive damages are the third type of award (Real loss, non-tangible loss, punitive damages). Non-tangible losses include compensation for loss of companionship, damage to reputation, mental stress, etc. Punitive losses have *nothing* to do with the plaintiff. They exist as *punishment* for wrongdoing (and in some circles are seen as an illegal exercise of the right of the state to punish wrongdoers).
Tim Douglass
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wrote:

Let's suck up to the big nasty corporation, they have....

... especially when the big nasty corporation refuses to do anything to help you *identify* the individual responsible (you *did* see that in the HD article, didn't you ? Or were the pages so drenched with your tears for poor HD that the lines were washed out ? :-)

So the decision is yours: support HD's actions by paying the higher prices resulting from its behaviors, or shop somewhere else.
(Where does the myth that HD's prices are lower come from ? It's advertising ?)

A few "build another seven-figure income." Most don't. The majority of the lawyers that I know make a small fraction of that.

You should ask HD that. If it took no action, you can assume that there will be another suit like this one in the not-too-distant future. And wouldn't that be the correct outcome ? Or do you feel that HD is not responsible for what its employees do on the job?
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So now we require companies to also do detective work? Companies resposible for stolen identities? Aren't we going overboard here?
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Never Enough Money wrote:

Not only no, but hell no! Identity theft is a serious problem precisely because companies do a pathetically inadequate job of checking before granting credit and then ignore the injured parties for as long as they possibly can.
In this case the store received a dozen credit applications from the same person. That alone would have raised red flags in a reasonably run business. Then even when the problem was brought to their attention, they not only refused to do anything about it, they couldn't even be bothered to show up in court!
This kind of behavior is utterly outrageous and well deserving of a million-dollar judgment.
--RC
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I think the point is that ONCE someone notifies a corporate entity that attempted identity thieft is happening with credit apps to THEIR store, that they should have 1 - Acknowledge the notification and 2- Put that SS number on a black list and not accepted NOR tried to process any apps with that SS number
No one is asking the corporate entity to do detective work, but they SHOULD not ignore folks reporting this kind of stuff, apparently repeatedly reporting it.
John
On 21 Feb 2005 08:44:56 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

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I guess will just have to disagree. The responsibility is not Home Depot's. I'm betting they did what virtually every comapny would do. Just 'cause it's the computer age, it doesn't shift the responsibility. It's more likely to be the credit beareau or credit agency that should have handled this.
It's sickening the way people go after deep pockets.
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Somewhat agree. If the person had a stolen ID and kept applying for a HD card and HD was notified of the fraud, they have some hand in the matter, but the credit bureau is not without some guilt in the mess from what I can see. Sounds like neither did much to help the situation.
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My wife had her SS# stolen a couple years back. The only way we found out was when a collections bill arrived from a delinquent Cingular Wireless account - owing $2200. We eventually got it straightened out after 4 months of back and forth letter writing, phone calls and affidavits - in addition to the fact that Cingular didn't provide service to our home state at that time. Whew. Notified the credit bureaus and they put a notice on her reports. (Little did we know those notices expire after 3, 6 or whatever months and are removed.)
Eight months later another collections bill arrives for $1200 from a delinquent account with... Cingular Wireless. I was livid. I wrote a scathing letter to the person who was our contact the first go'round, questioning how a company could be so inept and irresponsible as to allow non-paying accounts to rack up $2200 and $1200 in charges as well as opening a second account with the same SS# as proved to be fraudulent within the past year? It took another several months to get it solved yet again. (Note: send copies of everything to your state's attorney general/consumer fraud dept as well as the US Govt's consumer fraud division.)
Quite frankly, I don't think the companies really do care. They have fraud and theft factored into their rates and costs. So 1 out of 100 credit or service applications prove to be fraud... to them it's just a write-off on the balance sheet. To the citizen affected, it's a source of anxiety and stress, costing much time and effort to get their name cleared. Whether or not Cingular is responsible in anyway, they certainly have no warm spot in our hearts. If they had headed this off in the second instance I'd not have such animosity towards the company.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 22:36:59 -0800, Fly-by-Night CC wrote:

Any company can prevent a second account being opened with the same SS# by not allowing a second account with the same SS#. A simple search of their data base when a new account is opened is all that is required. The software is available to do this. As implied, a lot of companies could care less what happens to a persons credit rating. They feel it is up to the person involved to straighten things out, not them. I feel that there needs to be more companies lossing court cases before things will change.
P.T.
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Wow. All these responses spewing venim toward Home Depot and other companies. The venim should be reserved for the thief that stole the identity! Everybody wants payment for their losses and they want the deepest pockets around to pay.
Secondly, some lage companies have databases. Others do not. So shall we get mad at those that do have databases and don't use them as we think fit and be kind to those that don't?
I detest this railing against "big companies." I recall a time before Home Depot. Home Depot has made life better, not worse.
Granted, the companies could do a better job and will in the future....when the software engineers are paid to write the checks into the databaes and the companines can afford the "new features." However to sue the pants off the companies in the hopes of beign a catylsy for such changes is just wrong. In some cases, not necessarily the one discussed in this thread, the individual who lost his identity should get a kick in the butt because he/she was so stupid for being careless with his/her identity.
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To a point, I agree with your observation about the mentality towards big companies here. Sometimes this place looks like most of the folks are an angry lot who simply resent anything and anyone more successful than them.

All large companies today have "databases", though that is not really a meaningful term. More properly, they all have some amount of deep knowldege about their customer base.

These days your identity is so widely distributed that you no longer have any control at all over it. You can be as diligent as possible to protect your personal information and it won't matter one hoot. Everything there is to know about you is available and for sale. Your health records, your financial records, your internet habits, you name it. The safeguards that surround information as sensitive as this are almost non-existent. They're in place to protect against honest people, but there really is not much in place to protect against the clever mind of the criminal, as evidenced by the recent news.
--

-Mike-
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