For those of you who have been following the saga of Palmer v. KlearGear (see here for a summary), a big development this week: On Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City, after hearing testimony from the plaintiffs John and Jen Palmer about the damages they suffered as a result of their ordeal, the judge awarded $102,250 in compensatory damages and $204,500 in punitive damages, for a total of $306,750. That was the number we were asking for on the Palmers' behalf, based on our evidence and the willful and outrageous nature of KlearGear's misconduct in abusing the credit reporting system to ruin John Palmer's credit because Jen wrote an online review expressing a critical opinion of the company.
At the hearing, our clients gave moving testimony, and the judge, after listening closely, asked a few questions of counsel before announcing the award from the bench.
In an interview with the reporter who first broke the story of the Palmers' difficulties as a result of KlearGear's misconduct, the Palmers expressed relief that John’s credit has been restored and said they hoped no one else would have to go through what they did.
Collecting the judgment against KlearGear (which, as you'll recall, failed to appear in court or answer the complaint) could be complicated, but for now, it's gratifying to see the judicial system stand up for consumers whom corporations have punished for expressing their opinion.