It’s a difficult time for Howard Stern as he is facing a lawsuit.
A caller from the summer of 2015 to Stern’s show was “Jimmy From Long Island,” who referred to an agent for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The man was talking to a woman — Judith Barrigas — about her 2014 tax liability.
This conversation proved to be problematic as Howard Stern aired the call to millions, revealing a lot of details that he should not have unveiled to the public, including her phone number.
This led to dozens of people texting and calling Barrigas to let her know that her information was public knowledge at that point, which resulted in a law being broken regarding the confidential nature of tax returns.
Section 7431 in the Internal Revenue Code allows taxpayers to seek civil damages from the agency if any information on tax returns and return information is unveiled to the public without the consent of the person in question.
The law adds that if a person who is not an IRS agent inspects or discloses the information of a taxpayer either for malicious reasons or for negligence, they could face a lawsuit over their actions.
The woman said she has been unable to sleep and has faced great anxiety that has made it difficult for her to get a job. She is suing for lawyer fees, court costs and civil damages.