Kasalo v. Harris & Harris, LTD, No. 10-2755 (7th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The parties agree that the company attempted to collect an overdue hospital bill in a way that violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692 and that plaintiff is entitled to statutory damages of $1,000. Plaintiff's lawyer endeavored to transform the case into a class action, and the district court, frustrated by the effort, dismissed the whole action. The Seventh Circuit held that dismissal for want of prosecution was an abuse of discretion. All of the errors at issue were the fault of the lawyer and had nothing to do with the claim. The court should have considered other alternatives before dismissal.