An objector in a class action against Bank of America has put the proceedings to a halt. On July 19, attorneys for objector Dawn M. Weaver filed an opposition to the motion for a proposed class action settlement being considered by the court, filed by class counsel earlier this month. The class action claimed that “Bank of America breached its contract with consumer checking Account holders and unfairly assessed and collected Overdraft Fees on certain Debit Card transactions.”The settlement agreement embodies Bank of America’s agreement to pay $27.5 million to resolve the dispute.
In the brief, the objector asserts her contentions with the settlement agreement. Mainly, she asserts that the $5 reimbursement to each class member is too low and that the attorney’s fees (33% of the settlement fund) are too high.
Class actions, especially in the context of approval of the final settlement agreement, differ from other litigation. Unlike contexts where the judge plays a neutral role, class counsel seeks approval from the court in determining whether a class action settlement agreement should receive final approval. Some courts have even gone so far as to term the judge a fiduciary of the class, imposing an even higher duty. Thus, it will be up to the presiding judge in this case to consider the objector’s points and issue a ruling accordingly.
At least as far as attorney’s fees, Weaver may have a point. District courts have discretion as to whether they use the lodestar or common fund accounting methods for determining the proportion going to attorney’s fees. However, the Ninth Circuit has repeatedly recommended checking the value fees as a percentage of each method to ensure that the fees awarded are based on an appropriate multiplier. Both the Ninth and Eleventh Circuit have enacted a 25% benchmark in common fund cases, only awarding additional fees according to individual factors. Thus, the 33% figure asked for by class counsel will undergo additional scrutiny in the court’s analysis.
The attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley successfully represent consumers in lawsuits against manufacturers and companies involving defective products and product recalls. Our experienced trial attorneys recover thousands of dollars on behalf of injured individuals in cases involving defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, car defects and more.
At times, attorneys require further expertise and resources, legally and financially, to resolve a legal matter. We have the team, capability and dedication to handle challenging cases. If you have a case exceeding your resources with respect to workforce or experience, consider contacting our firm. We welcome referrals from firms in Sacramento and throughout the United States.
We provide free case consultations. If you, or a loved one, suffered an injury due to another’s negligence or wrongful conduct, call our firm. We will examine your individual situation and explain your legal rights. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured individuals, in both jury trials and settlement negotiations.
Kershaw, Cook & Talley is a Sacramento law firm founded on the principle of helping our clients through personalized legal services. With this philosophy, Kershaw, Cook & Talley has garnered a statewide and national reputation for providing outstanding legal representation and obtaining significant compensation for our clients.
We understand personal injury cases are often emotionally and financially straining. Our team of top personal injury attorneys in Sacramento is committed to seeking justice for individuals injured as a result of another's negligence or intentional misconduct. At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, our experienced personal injury attorneys will hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.