Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) January 17, 2013
Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP is pleased to announce that the trial court has certified a class action in the overdraft lawsuit (Case # 11CV000090 Court of Common Pleas, Lake County, Ohio) filed against FirstMerit on behalf of its Ohio customers who were allegedly charged excessive overdraft fees when FirstMerit made the decision to reorder debit card transactions. This marks a significant victory for the Plaintiffs in the case. The Court’s ruling means that a single trial will determine FirstMerit’s liability as to all of its Ohio customers who were forced to pay multiple overdraft fees when the bank allegedly changed its accounting practices to reorder debit card transactions from high-to-low.
“The Court’s well-reasoned Opinion essentially echoed the arguments made by the Class Plaintiffs as to why this case needed to be certified as a class action under Ohio law,” said Spangenberg attorney, Stuart Scott. “We now look forward to the next phase of the case proving that FirstMerit allegedly misled and acted in bad faith towards its customers in order to gouge them for more overdraft fees.”
Spangenberg Shibley & Liber lawyers, Stuart E. Scott and Daniel Frech, along with their co-counsel, Tycko & Zavareei, LLP, from Washington, D.C. and Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A., from Lake County, Ohio, have been pursuing FirstMerit for disgorgement of overdraft fees it allegedly took from customers when it made the decision to change the way it posted debit card transactions from low-to-high to high-to-low. The impact and purpose of this alleged accounting manipulation was to increase overdraft fees by depleting its customers’ checking accounts as fast as possible so that the maximum number of debit card transactions would incur an overdraft fee. Each fee was approximately $34.
The lawsuit alleges that FirstMerit breached its duty of good faith under the account agreement with its customers and intentionally misled its customers into overdrafting their account multiple times on the same day. The Plaintiffs’ allegations in the Complaint include that FirstMerit charged overdraft fees on transactions when the customer account had sufficient funds to pay the transaction.
The Plaintiffs are seeking disgorgement of the excessive fees charged customers because of the alleged high-to-low reordering, interest on the improperly charged fees, and punitive damages.
Customers who qualify for the class will receive notice and information about their legal rights. The trial court’s ruling granting class certification is subject to immediate appeal. Customers who may have a claim can watch this site for case developments. The Court’s full Opinion can be accessed by clicking here and the Class Action Complaint can be accessed here.