• Federal Judge Reinstates $203 Million Judgment against Wells Fargo for Overdraft Fees
  • May 17, 2013
  • Law Firm: Lieff Cabraser Heimann Bernstein LLP - San Francisco Office
  • As reported by the Daily Journal, a federal judge reinstated a $203 million judgment against Wells Fargo Bank NA in a consumer class action over claims the bank unfairly imposed overdraft fees on depositors. U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco filed the order late Tuesday after his earlier rulings on the judgment were reversed in part in December by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Alsup's revival of the award wasn't entirely a surprise. A law professor who followed the case predicted in December that Alsup, who found for the plaintiffs after a bench trial, would continue to support their view. "His [original] opinion was extraordinarily detailed and I thought it expressed a lot of outrage at what Wells Fargo has done, so I don't think Wells Fargo would expect to receive lenient treatment from him," said Arthur E. Wilmarth of George Washington University.

    Wells Fargo spokeswoman Richele J. Messick said the bank is disappointed with the ruling and plans another appeal. The revived award was a win for lead class counsel Richard M. Heimann and Michael W. Sobol of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP. Said Sobol, "There has never been any question that Wells Fargo used accounting tricks and directly misled customers to hide those tricks." He called on the bank to pay the award.