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Currier v. PDL Recovery Group, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 1, 2017

Ryan Currier Plaintiff,
v.
PDL Recovery Group, LLC, et. al., Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          Hon. Sean F. Cox Judge

         Plaintiff Ryan Currier (“Plaintiff”) brought this action pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the Michigan Occupational Code (“MOC”), and the Michigan Collection Practices Act (“MCPA”). On February 23, 2017, this Court entered an Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's partial motion for summary judgment. (Doc. # 170, O&O).

         The matter is currently before Defendants PDL Recovery Group and Jamie Belstadt's Motion for Reconsideration, brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). (Doc. # 171, Def.s' Br.). Defendants take issue with the Court's decision to hold Defendant Belstadt personally liable under the FDCPA and MOC and the Court's decision to consider one of the exhibits attached to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff has responded to Defendants' motion. (Doc. # 175). Having reviewed the substance of Defendants' motion, this Court shall DENY the Motion for Reconsideration.

         STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) states:

[A]ny order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all of the claims ... shall not terminate the action ... and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.

         The Sixth Circuit has held that “[t]raditionally, courts will find justification for reconsidering interlocutory orders when there is (1) an intervening change of controlling law; (2) new evidence available; or (3) a need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Rodriguez v. Tenn. Laborers Health & Welfare Fund, 89 Fed. App'x 949, 959 (6th Cir. 2004).

         ANALYSIS

         Argument # 1. First, Defendants argue that the Court erred in concluding that Defendant Belstadt could be held personally liable under the FDCPA on the basis of his general participation in the debt collection activities of PDL. In reaching this conclusion, the Court relied on the Sixth Circuit's decision in Kistner v. Law Offices of Michael P. Margelefsky, 518 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2008), for the proposition that a member of an LLC can be held personally liable under the FDCPA so long as the employee individually qualifies as a debt collector.

         Here, Defendants do not dispute that an LLC member may be personally liable if he qualifies as a debt collector. However, Defendants argue that the “correct interpretation of Kistner should be that personal liability can only be imposed, without piercing the corporate veil, when an employee, shareholder, officer, or director violates the Act as a ‘debt collector.'” (Def.s' Br. at 3). Defendants then rely on several decisions, from outside of the Sixth Circuit, for the proposition that “personal involvement is a prerequisite to a finding of individual liability.” (Id. at 5). Defendants then summarily conclude that because Belstadt did not materially participate in the alleged violations, he cannot be held liable.

         Defendants' argument, however, has been specifically rejected by the Sixth Circuit in Kistner:

In other words, contrary to [defendant's] argument that he cannot be personally liable because he did not participate in sending the specific letter to [plaintiff], he may be personally liable on the basis of his participation in the debt collection activities of the LLC more generally.

Kistner, 518 F.3d at 437 (emphasis added).

         Defendants are also wrong when they assert that the “Court's opinion relies on no evidence to suggest that Belstadt formulated and implemented a business practice that resulted in an FDCPA violation.” (Def.s' Br. at 4). Defendants conveniently ignore the portion of the Opinion & ...


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