Q: Can you recommend a law firm who would take my case probono? I live near Philly, PA. Should I sue them or counteroffer?
A fortune 500 company charged me almost $800.00 for a cell phone I had returned almost a year ago. Apparently, the store manager who I gave my cell phone to, either sent it to the wrong location or did not follow the proper procedure to return my phone to the warehouse.
I have since been literally harassed by that company for $800.00. The company caused me so much stress.
I desperately tried to locate my phone. I went a one of their stores to speak the manager. Within about 15 minutes, the store manager located my phone. A few weeks after the manager found it, I received a refund of $800.00. However, the refund was made to the wrong account. I contacted their customer service fix the issue, but never heard back.
This past week, I got a call from a collection agency, that's when I got extremely upset. As such, I submitted a formal dispute. Three days later, their law firm wanted to settle the issue with $1000 though I requested $20,000.
A: While I doubt an attorney would handle a small consumer claim on a pro bono basis, my first question would be how do you calculate $20,000 in compensatory damages based on what happened? Is the fair market value of the missing phone $20,000? Was there some sort of trade secret saved in electronic format on the missing phone with no back-ups anywhere else? Given that stress, anxiety, and such usually do not constitute legally compensable mental anguish which usually isn't even available as an element of damages in most missing property cases, how do you get to $20,000?
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