SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW TILA STATUTORY DAMAGES CAP
On January 20, 2004, the United States Supreme Court granted Koons Buick Pontiac GMC, Inc.’s petition for writ of
certiorari, thus agreeing to review the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Nigh v. Koons Buick Pontiac GMC, Inc. 2004 WL 76687 (U.S. Jan. 20, 2004). In Nigh, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted summary judgment to Koons Buick on several claims made by Nigh with respect to his motor vehicle financing, but preserved for trial Nigh’s Truth in Lending Act claim of inaccurate disclosure. At trial, a jury awarded Nigh $24,192.80 for his TILA claim. On appeal, Koons Buick argued that the district court erred in allowing statutory damages of twice the finance charge in connection with the transaction because Section 1640(a)(2)(A) of TILA caps statutory damages in all individual actions at $1,000. The United States District Court for the Fourth Circuit disagreed, holding that the district court’s award of damages was correct-a decision that is in apparent conflict with a 1997 opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. See Strange v. Monogram Credit Card Bank of Ga., 129 F.3d 943 (7th Cir. 1997). Motions by the American Bankers Association and the Virginia Automobile Dealers Associations to file briefs as amici curiae also were granted by the Supreme Court.
Judy Scheiderer and Margaret Stolar