Time-Barred Defense Saves Visa (For Now)

Credit lending giant Visa came under fire over recent years due to an interchange fee which they have been charging their European customers. In 2013, a number of retailers in Europe brought forward a claim for damages against Visa, stating that the company had breached competition law because it had set excessive interchange fees for the acceptance of its cards. These same fees have been subject to European and domestic investigations since the early 1990s when the European Commission received a complaint from the British Retail Association.

Visa shot back and argued that all of the infringements pre-dating July 2007 were time-barred, meaning that anything six years prior to when the original claim was filed was invalid. Retailers in the UK, however, argued that the limitation period had not expired, holding section 32 of the Limitation Act 1980 as their reasoning.

Understanding Your Statute of Limitations

The court ultimately upheld the decision that the £500 million being claimed in damages from the various retailers was time-barred – but only for the time being. This case, however, brings to light an important issue for anyone who is considering bringing any claim to court: you only have a finite amount of time to make a claim.

Time-barred is a common phrase, though “statute of limitations” is another common term used to describe one’s time constraints when making a claim. Depending on where you live and the situation in which you are involved, the amount of time which you have to file a claim may differ from state to state and for the reasons why you are making a claim. In one state, a business may be able to hold a manufacturer accountable for defaulting on a payment within 2 years of when that payment was due. In another, a business may only have six months to make a claim.

The Benefit of Choosing a Business Attorney

Almost every attorney will choose a speciality which will become the primary interest of his or her career. Here at Gilstrap & Associates, P.C. our business attorneys have not only trained specifically in business and commercial law, but we are experts in the field. We have the experience you need to ensure that your case ends with the most positive outcome and that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your claim.

If you are concerned about a previous or current business partnership or dealing, and have questions about whether or not you have a claim, we invite you to contact us today for a free consultation at (915) 581-0020.