Evidence of Moderate Stress Can Support Actual Damages in a WVCCPA Case

Recently, a federal court in West Virginia determined that evidence of a plaintiff’s “moderate” stress in a West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (“WVCCPA”) case supports sending a request for actual damages to a jury. In O’Dell v. USAA Federal Savings Bank aka USAA, the plaintiff alleged he suffered damages from “annoyance, stress, inconvenience, and the like” as a result of calls made to him by a debt collector. He testified the debt collector’s calls made him nervous, and the calls were incessant. He further testified the calls also affected his immediate family.

The debt collector filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of or reference to plaintiff’s alleged actual damages, and the district court denied that motion. In so doing, the court explained that a West Virginia district court has previously awarded actual damages based on “minimal” stress; thus, plaintiff’s evidence of moderate stress “provided sufficient evidence to permit him to seek actual damages at trial.”

You can read the full case at O’Dell v. USAA Federal Savings Bank aka USAA, No. 3:17-1427, 2018 WL 2014086 (S.D.W. Va. Apr. 30, 2018).

By Tai C. Shadrick


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