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Gary Christy v. Eos Cca

November 27, 2012

GARY CHRISTY,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
EOS CCA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

Gary Christy (Plaintiff) brings this action under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) against EOS CCA (Defendant). Defendant moved for summary judgment. ECF No. 13. For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

I.BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiff is a resident of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, and works as a horticulturalist manager at a local country club. See Christy Dep. 8:22-9:17, ECF No. 13, Ex. D. He lives with his wife, Tracey Christy, and adult son, also named Gary Christy.

Id. at 10:8-17. Defendant is a debt collection company with corporate headquarters located in Norwell, Massachusetts, performing collection activity for approximately seven million accounts, totaling around $6.8 billion in value. See Burns Dep. 26:7-9, ECF. No. 19, Ex. B.

Plaintiff claims Defendant violated the FDCPA because, on June 14, 2011, Defendant sent a letter which was marked "confidential," addressed to Gary Christy, and sought payment of an $84.14 delinquent AT&T Mobility debt to the law firm of Kimmel & Silverman, P.C., where Tracy Christy, Plaintiff's wife, works. Compl. ¶¶ 19-20, ECF. No. 1; see id. Ex. A. On June 21, 2011, the firm received Defendant's letter and its mail clerk, Sandy Lorandeau, inadvertently opened the letter but did not read it; instead, she forwarded it to Defendant's wife. Lorandeau Dep. 10:20-11:2, ECF. No. 13, Ex. C. In reality, the letter was intended for Plaintiff's son, the actual debtor of the account, also named Gary Christy. See Christy Dep. 45:9-46:20.*fn2 After failing to locate Plaintiff's son at the address provided by AT&T Mobility, Defendant obtained through LexisNexis an automatically generated new address, that of Kimmel & Silverman, at which to contact him. Burns Dep. 33:7-34:21. Plaintiff does not owe the debt. See id. Plaintiff did not actually read the letter until he began consulting with counsel to pursue the matter at hand. Id. at 48:12-24. It was not until after "th[e] case became more relevant" that Plaintiff discovered that the letter related to "his son's cell phone bill." Id. at 14:9-13.

Plaintiff claims that Ms. Lorandeau's opening of the debt-collection letter at Kimmel & Silverman was "highly embarrassing," because he believed the letter was addressed to him, and filed suit claiming a violation of the FDCPA. Compl. ¶ 23.

II.PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 5, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Complaint that asserts the following claims against Defendant:

(1) communicating with third parties in connection with the collection of a debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(b);

(2) generally harassing Plaintiff in connection with the collection of a debt in violation of § 1692d; (3) generally using false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means in connection with the collection of a debt in violation of § 1692e; and (4) generally using unfair and unconscionable means against Plaintiff in collecting or attempting to collect a debt in violation of § 1692f. Defendant responded, claiming that it did not violate the FDCPA. Answer ¶¶ 28(a)-(f), ECF No. 3.*fn3

On March 19, 2012, Defendant filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment. Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 13. Plaintiff responded. Ps.'s Resp., ECF No. 20. The matter is now ripe for disposition.

III.LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate if there are no genuine disputes of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). "A motion for summary judgment will not be defeated by 'the mere existence' of some disputed facts, but will be denied when there is a genuine issue of material fact." Am. Eagle Outfitters v. Lyle & Scott Ltd., 584 F.3d 575, 581 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986)). A fact is "material" if proof of its existence or nonexistence might affect the outcome of the litigation, ...


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