One of the the biggest debt collectors in the United States was ordered to pay Maria Guadalupe Mejia $83 million for "maliciously" suing her for a $1000 credit card debt that she didn't owe. The debt was actually owed by a man with a similar-sounding name.
"[Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC] has gained a reputation for take no prisoners, 'If you mess with us we're going to take you all the way, you're going to have to spend a lot of money on this litigation, you're going to have to go all the way to trial,'" said Gina Chiala, one of Mejia's lawyers. "And so, among consumer lawyers, they are known to be very aggressive in litigation and to not stop; even when they're wrong, they're just not going to stop."
A spokesman for the company, Michael McKeon, called the verdict "outlandish" and said it "defied all common sense."