WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Judge Royce Lamberth of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia awarded nearly $1 million in attorneys' fees and expenses in connection with Tycko & Zavareei LLP's representation of three deceived LSAT preparation consumers. Fees and costs of $927,707.89 were granted pursuant to the District of Columbia's consumer protection law and represented approximately 96% of the amount requested by the Firm's clients.
The dispute arose when the plaintiffs attempted to enroll in an LSAT course provided by TestMasters, the nationally-renowned test preparation company owned by Robin Singh. Instead, they each paid between $1,000 to $1,300 for a course by an impostor company using the same name. The Court found that the defendant, Test Masters Educational Services, Inc. ("TES") "actually misled them into signing up for the TES course instead of Singh's course," and awarded each of them $1,500 in statutory damages. Hundreds of other test preparation consumers have complained about the same deceptive conduct.
Earlier in the litigation, TES was sanctioned by the Court for discovery abuse and ordered to pay $59,909.19 in attorneys' fees and expenses. The sanctions were based on TES's failure to preserve emails from consumers. TES's president, Roger Israni, claimed this resulted from the crash of multiple hard drives and the failure of all backup systems. The Court found that Israni "has not provided a satisfactory explanation for the crash" and that his "story heaps one implausible circumstance on top of another, and may suggest that TES intentionally destroyed the data and has encountered problems in trying to cover up that destruction." TES argued that the sanctions order would harm its reputation and petitioned the Court to keep it under seal, but the Court denied this request.
Beck v. Test Masters Educational Services, Inc., Case No. 1:04-cv-01391-RCL, Docket Number 231 (D.D.C. November 10, 2014).
SOURCE Tycko & Zavareei LLP