A woman bought a subscription from a telecommunications company to provide her with cell phone and internet service. She defaulted on her subscription payments and the telecommunications company was forced to cut-off her service. The telecommunications company hired the services of a collection agent to collect the unpaid subscription payments prior to the service to her being cut off. The collection agent filed a claim against the woman in court and obtained a judgment against her. The judgment was submitted to a credit investigation company which posted the judgment against the woman to the account and credit history of a woman with a similar sounding name.
The credit investigation company did not investigate that the woman with a similar sounding name had a different middle name, a different home address and had a different social security number.
The woman with the similar sounding name happened to be a college student who had applied for a student loan so that she can finish college. Because the credit investigation company posted the judgment against her, the information was accessed by the lender from whom the woman with the similar sounding name applied for a student loan. The lender refused to lend her any money as she was not a good credit risk. The woman with the similar sounding name lost her credit reputation, she also dropped out of college for her failure to secure student loans that would enable her to finish her studies.
The woman with a similar sounding name filed a case for negligence and damages against the telecommunications company, the collection agent and the credit investigation company. She claimed that their negligence in attaching the judgment against the other woman caused a personal injury to her: she lost her credit standing, her credit reputation and this resulted in pecuniary loss to her for she lost her credit line and failed to find suitable financing to finish her college education.
All the defendants filed motions for summary judgment. They all alleged that the suit in damages brought by the woman with the similar sounding name was filed beyond the prescriptive period for filing suits in damages. The defendants all alleged that the suit should have been filed within two years from the date that the credit investigation company posted the judgment against the other woman on her account and credit history. Since the suit was not filed within two years from the posting to her account and credit history, then her complaint should be dismissed for having been filed beyond the time allowed by the law for filing of such suits.
The only question before the Court is whether or not the motion for summary judgment should be granted on the ground that the complaint was filed beyond the prescriptive period for filing of actions in damages.
The Court held that the complaint should be dismissed if her cause of action arose from the time that the judgment was attached to her credit history. However, the woman with the similar sounding name did not know that a judgment was attached to her credit history until her student loan application was denied. If the Court were to count the two year prescriptive period from the time that her student loan application was denied, then her suit was filed within the prescriptive period and must not be dismissed.
The Court held that personal injury is not only limited to physical injury sustained by a person. Personal injury also comprehends injury to one’s reputation and goodwill. The woman here suffered a personal injury to her credit reputation and credit standing. The neglect of the credit investigation company caused injury to the woman’s credit reputation, and all hope of obtaining financing for her college education evaporated.
The personal injury to her was the denial of her student loan application. The direct cause of the denial of the student loan application was the posting of the judgment against the other woman to her credit history. Therefore, the prescriptive period should be counted from the date of the denial of her student loan application. The motion for summary judgment should be and was denied.
Are you thinking of filing a personal injury case? A Kings County Personal Injury lawyer is the best person to advice you if you have suffered a personal injury. A Kings County Personal Injury attorney can best explain to you that personal injury need not only be a physical injury, but it can also be an injury to your name and reputation. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, their Kings County Personal Injury attorneys are willing to help you get compensation for any personal injury you sustained. Call Stephen Bilkis and Associates today, ask to speak to any of their Kings County Personal Injury Lawyers at any of their offices conveniently located in Kings County.