In Guajardo v. GC Services, LP, 2012 WL 5419505 (5th Cir. 2012), the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a $120,000 FDCPA jury verdict, and issued a remittur in the amount of $4,500.  Plaintiff had testified that she was not claiming compensation for time off of work, out-of-pocket expenses, or mental anguish. The district court denied GC’s motion.  The jury answered four special interrogatories. In the first interrogatory, the jury found that GC violated the FDCPA in its dealings with Plaintiff, awarded $1,000 for statutory damages, and “$120,000 (=$40,000 x 3)” for actual damages. The Plaintiff testified as follows:  Q. Okay. And you do agree with me that, basically, we’re here because of these three phone calls that maybe—even to use your math, maybe lasted 15 minutes total?  A. The overall…. But, again, the three phone calls are the only ones documented that were the worst. There were way more than those three.  Q. But those are the only ones you have really told us about today. Correct? A. The whole experience. That’s why I’m here. Q. Those are the only that you’ve told us about to-day, correct, those three? A. That I have documented.  Q. Right. Now, are you claiming mental anguish in this case? A. No. The jury awarded $120,000.00 in actual damages.  The Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit reversed:

We, like the district court, have the authority to determine the value of a remittitur. Brunnemann, 975 F.2d at 178. We apply the “ ‘maximum recovery rule, which prescribes that the verdict must be reduced to the maximum amount the jury could properly have awarded.’ “ Id. (quoting Hansen v. Johns–Manville Prods. Corp., 734 F.2d 1036, 1046 (5th Cir.1984)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Accordingly, we reduce the $120,000 judgment to $1,500 per call, for a total of $4,500. Guajardo, should she choose to reject that award, may instead elect a new trial on the issue of damages