First National Bank of Wahoo v. Charvat
- Case Date: 1/6/2014
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On March 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order declining to review an appeals court decision that allows uninjured plaintiffs to sue those they believe are violating federal law. WLF had filed a brief urging that review be granted. It argued that the Constitution bars federal courts from hearing the claims of those who have not been injured by the conduct of which they complain; such individuals lack “standing” to sue. The incentives motivating uninjured individuals to sue are apparent: numerous federal statutes provide that a prevailing plaintiff is entitled to recover “statutory damages” (i.e., a fixed amount of damages computed without regard to whether the plaintiff was injured) as well as attorney fees. If the lawsuits are certified as class actions, the lawsuits can generate huge fees. But, WLF argued in its brief, the Constitution does not permit federal courts to hear a suit filed by one whose only alleged injury is a bare, technical violation of a federal statute.
More Information and Downloads:
1/6/2014: Download the Brief