In a class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, statutory damages are limited to the lesser of $500,000 or 1% of the defendant’s net worth. (15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(2)(B).) This decision holds that the statute, though silent as to who bears the burden of proving net worth, necessarily imposes that burden on the plaintiff since the statute makes evidence of the defendant’s net worth essential to an award of class statutory damages. Plaintiff normally bears the burden of proving all facts necessary to support his claim, and there is nothing in this statute to create an exception to that rule.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Tallman, J.); August 20, 2018; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23101