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Decision in Administrative Case, Plus Liability of a Credit Card Company Under TILA

By FindLaw Staff | Last updated on

Williams v. Astrue, No. 09-1471, involved a claimant's request for attorneys' fees in connection with her application for disability benefits following a district court's conclusion that the ALJ's findings with respect to the claimant's ability to perform her past relevant work were not supported by substantial evidence.  The Equal Access to Justice Act, provides that a prevailing party in a litigation against the government shall receive fees and other expenses incurred unless the court finds that the government's position was substantially justified or than special circumstances make an award unjust.

Thus, in affirming the district court's denial of claimant's request for attorneys' fees, the court held that under the circumstances, the ALJ's one inconsequential error in its decision and where there were other evidence in which to reach the same conclusion, did not render district court's decision improper in concluding that the government's position was substantially justified.

Azur v. Chase Bank, USA, No. 09-1553, involved a plaintiff's suit against Chase Bank alleging violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and common law negligence after her personal assistant misappropriated over $1 million from plaintiff through fraudulent use of her Chase credit card.  In affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the court held that section 1643 of the TILA does not entitle the cardholder the right to reimbursement after making the payments.  Furthermore, because the plaintiff vested her personal assistant with the apparent authority to use her credit card, her section 1643 and 1666 claims cannot stand.  Lastly, plaintiff's common law negligence claim is barred by the Pennsylvania's economic loss doctrine. 

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