MALIK M. HASAN, M.D., Plaintiff - Appellant,
CHASE BANK USA, N.A., Defendant-Appellee. MALIK M. HASAN, M.D., Plaintiff - Appellant,
AMERICAN EXPRESS CENTURION BANK, Defendant-Appellee.
from the United States District Court for the District of
Colorado (D.C. No. 1:16-CV-01991-RPM) and (D.C. No.
W. Merrick, G.W. Merrick & Associates, LLC, Centennial,
Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant.
E. Schoenfeld, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, New
York, New York (Arpit K. Garg, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale
and Dorr, Washington D.C., with him on the brief), for
Defendant-Appellee Chase Bank USA, N.A.
M. McCartan, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Kansas City,
Missouri, (Eric J. Hobbs, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP,
Denver, Colorado, with him on the brief), for
Defendant-Appellee American Express Centurion Bank.
MORITZ, KELLY, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.
MORITZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Hasan ordered wine from Premier Cru Fine Wines (Premier Cru)
and paid with credit cards issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A.
(Chase) and American Express Centurion Bank (AmEx). Premier
Cru declared bankruptcy while Hasan was still waiting for
delivery of wine that he paid nearly $1 million for. Hasan
asserts that under a provision of the Fair Credit Billing Act
(FCBA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1666-66j, Chase and AmEx must
refund his accounts the amount he paid for wine that Premier
Cru failed to deliver. But because we reject Hasan's
interpretation of that FCBA provision-§ 1666i-we affirm
the district court's orders dismissing his complaints
against Chase and AmEx.
used his Chase and AmEx credit cards to purchase wine from
Premier Cru for future delivery: Hasan paid up front, and
Premier Cru agreed to deliver the wine sometime in the
future. Premier Cru fulfilled some, but not all, of
Hasan's orders. And in January 2016, Premier Cru declared
bankruptcy. At that time, Hasan had paid $689, 176.92 with
his Chase card and $379, 153.72 with his AmEx card for wine
he never received.
asked both companies to refund his accounts for the
undelivered wine under § 1666i of the FCBA. Chase
complied in part and credited Hasan's account $100,
136.88. AmEx refused to credit Hasan's
account. So Hasan filed a lawsuit against each company,
seeking $589, 040.04 from Chase and $379, 153.72 from AmEx.
and AmEx each filed a motion to dismiss, arguing primarily
that because Hasan had fully paid the balance on his credit
cards, he had no claim under § 1666i. The district court
in Chase's case ruled first, agreed with Chase's
interpretation of § 1666i, and dismissed the case. The
district court in AmEx's case adopted the
statutory-interpretation reasoning of the earlier decision
and dismissed Hasan's case. Hasan appeals.
review de novo a district court's dismissal of a
complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Alvarado v. KOB-TV, LLC,
493 F.3d 1210, 1215 (10th Cir. 2007). Likewise, we
independently interpret statutes. United States v.
Black, 773 F.3d 1113, 1115 (10th Cir. 2014).
interpretation begins with the words in the statute.
Levorsen v. Octapharma Plasma, Inc., 828 F.3d 1227,
1231 (10th Cir. 2016). The statute at issue in this case,
§ 1666i, has two sections. The first makes credit-card
issuers "subject to all claims (other than tort claims)
and defenses arising out of any transaction in which the
credit card is used as a method of payment or extension of
credit." § 1666i(a). This broadly worded first
section, though, is "[s]ubject to the limitation
contained in subsection (b)." Id. And
subsection (b) limits the amount of a cardholder's claims
or defenses to "the amount of credit outstanding with
respect to [the disputed] transaction at the time the
cardholder first ...