BOKF Agrees to Pay $7.8M to Settle Class Action Lawsuit over Excessive Overdraft Fees
A class action settlement with BOK Financial is heading towards final approval. On May 15, 2017, a hearing will take place for final approval of a $7.8 million settlement to resolve allegations that the bank charges excessive overdraft fees. The settlement was given preliminary approval in October 2016.
Parker Waichman LLP has decades of experience successfully representing clients in various class action lawsuits. The firm continues to offer free, no-obligation legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a lawsuit.
The class action lawsuit was filed March of 2015 in Tulsa County District Court. Plaintiffs alleged that the bank sequenced transactions from high-to-low, resulting in higher overdraft fees. This alleged practice is known as “reordering”. According to the lawsuit, when there are two or more transactions on debit card, check card or ATM withdrawals, the highest one will be subtracted. This allegedly results in overdraft fees.
The plaintiff class alleges that BOKF often processes debit transactions when customers had insufficient funds.
“Moreover, the bank employed automated software programs to reorder transactions so it could maximize the number of overdraft fees it imposed on its customers,” the lawsuit petition states. “In many instances, these overdraft fees cost account holders of the bank hundreds of dollars in a matter of days, or even hours.”
BOKF denied wrongdoing in the settlement. The bank says it chose to settle the class action lawsuit “to avoid any further expense and distraction from it.”
When final approval is given, a common fund will be created, totaling $7.8 million. The plaintiff class includes all BOKF customers in the United States with one or more accounts who were charged an overdraft fee between September 1, 2011 and July 8, 2014 due to reordering.
BOFK reached the settlement agreement with plaintiffs after mediation.
Class Action Lawsuits and Settlements
A class action lawsuit is when one lawsuit is filed on behalf of an entire group of plaintiffs, referred to collectively as the plaintiff class. Oftentimes, a class action lawsuit is filed because individual claims would be too small to pursue on their own. For example, one person would not go to court over $10. However, if a company wrongfully took $10 from 100,000 people, then this amount is significant.
Class action lawsuits are often filed over issues such as consumer fraud. The plaintiffs all allege being wronged by a common defendant in the same manner. This is different from a mass tort, which groups similar lawsuits to one court. In a mass tort, plaintiffs can allege different degrees of injury since their claims are filed individually.
Other class action lawsuits have ended in a settlement. For example, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $5 million to resolve allegations involving its bedtime bath products, including: JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Bath, JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Lotion, JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Moisture Wash, JOHNSON’S® Baby BEDTIME® Washcloths, and JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Bubble Bath & Wash.
The products named in the class action were labeled as “clinically proven” to help babies sleep better when parents follow a “3-step nightly routine.” However, plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that there is no clinical evidence to support these claims. In addition to the $5 million, J&J has agreed to remove the phrase “clinically proven” from its bedtime bath products.
Home Depot recently agreed to pay $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit involving a data breach that comprom
ised the information of 56 million customers. In 2014, Home Depot informed its customers that hackers accessed names, credit and debit card numbers through malware placed on the stores’ self-checkout kiosks. The suit, filed on behalf of dozens of banks and credit unions, alleged that Home Depot failed to implement proper cybersecurity.
BP settled a class action lawsuit over allegedly defective solar panels for $67 million. Plaintiffs alleged that the solar panels are defective and overheat, causing the panels’ glass cover to shatter. A California judge gave final approval in December, and the settlement funds became effective in January. The class action lawsuit reportedly represents 8,000 class members.
“Crucially, the settlement is designed to eliminate all safety risk to all S-type panel owners because those who are not entitled to full replacement will be made far safer through inspection and installation of an inverter,” the settlement motion states, according to Law360.
More Information on Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
Parker Waichman has decades of experience representing clients in class action lawsuits, personal injury lawsuits, product liability lawsuits and other lawsuits. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, contact us today by filling out our online form or calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).