MY ID WAS STOLEN – CAN I SUE THE IDENTITY THIEF?
Jaimee Napp will soon find our whether a Nebraska civil court judge will award her damages for her claims against an identity thief. Napp, an identity theft victim, sued the perpetrator in civil court for actual damages and pain and suffering, including post traumatic distress.
During closing arguments, Judge John Hartigan downplayed Napp’s damages when he commented, “It’s not like someone took her soul.” Despite the judge’s comment, Napp’s therapist testified she exhibited symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The defendant’s attorney rebutted by arguing Napp’s post-traumatic stress disorder claim was a “slap in the face to every soldier returning from Iraq.”
One study reports that ID theft victims are denied rights that victims of other crimes have such as restitution in 14 states.
The defendant, Jackie Brown, Napp’s former co-worker, according to testimony and court filings took Napp’s personal identifying information, including her Social Security number. Brown provided her ex-boyfriend with Napp’s info and he used it to try to get credit cards.
This is not the first time I blogged about an identity thief using romance to get personal identifying information. In fact, identity theft can be a low tech crime and it is not always done over the internet. Identity thieves often use simple methods to obtain your most personal information. Like befriending employees of companies who retain your business information, including Social Security or bank account numbers In Alabama, Napp would have a private cause of action for actual or statutory damages. In fact, the Alabama Code provides for attorneys’ fees, too. Identity thieves are often judgment proof because they have no assets or income. A better defendant may be Napp’s employer. Why did her co-worker have access to her Social Security number?
HAVE YOU DISCOVERED UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT? HAVE YOU DISCOVERED ACCOUNTS ON YOUR EQUIFAX, EXPERIAN OR TRANS UNION CREDIT REPORT THAT YOU DID NOT OPEN? IF YES, YOU MAY BE A VICTIM OF ID THEFT. CONTACT ATTORNEY MICAH ADKINS FOR A FREE ID THEFT INFORMATION KIT.
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