Lawsuit saying Chase erased 67-cent card overpayment is dismissed

NEW YORK, March 21 Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:39pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 21 (Reuters) - A Manhattan federal judge on Friday dismissed a JPMorgan Chase & Co credit card holder's lawsuit accusing the bank of fraud for erasing a 67-cent positive balance from his card bill.

Stanley Epstein claimed that he paid $48 to settle a $47.33 bill on his Chase Marriott Rewards card, and then did not use the card for five months, only to have Chase take away the 67-cent balance in a "purchase interest charge debit adjustment."

The Santa Monica, California resident said Chase had no right to take his money, and breached his cardholder agreement.

He sued in July 2013, four months after he received from Chase as reimbursement a 67-cent cashier's check, which he neither cashed nor intended to cash. The lawsuit sought class-action status.

But in a 26-page decision dismissing the case, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla said the plaintiff lacked standing to sue by himself or on behalf of others.

She said the reimbursement meant Epstein could not show "actual" injury, and that the bank's alleged wrongful "policy" appeared to be a one-time "administrative hiccup."

"The court cannot accept plaintiff's contention that by neither requesting nor cashing the refund check, he has somehow created standing," Failla wrote.

To rule otherwise, the judge added, would "engender a disincentive among potential litigants to attempt legitimately to resolve disputes without judicial intervention."

Joseph Marchese, a lawyer for Epstein, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Steve O'Halloran, a JPMorgan spokesman, declined to comment.

JPMorgan reported a $4.79 billion profit on net revenue of $18.69 billion in its card, merchant services and auto lending businesses in 2013.

The case is Epstein v. JPMorgan Chase & Co et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-04744. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)