Mastercard, a global payment processor, is battling attempts to add about 14 million deceased people to a 14 billion pound-plus ($19.3 billion) British class action in an effort to limit the scope of the historic case.
A Mastercard lawyer told London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on Friday that an application seeking to add those who died between 1992 and 2008 into the country’s first mass consumer claim, that alleges the company overcharged people over a near 16-year period, was a “nullity”.
“A claim cannot be brought in the name of a deceased person,” Mark Hoskins, representing Mastercard, said at the hearing.
Former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks, who is leading the claim, alleges that Mastercard overcharged almost 60 million people in Britain – including about 14 million people who are deceased – over the period. The case could entitle adults and their estates to roughly 300 pounds each if successful.
Hoskins said attempts to add new members — or their administrators, personal representatives, executors or next of kin — to the “very serious claim” was also now time-barred.
The company is also resisting attempts to add compound interest to any award, which the court heard could push up the value of the claim by more than 2 billion pounds.
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