Supreme Court upholds verdict against Wells Fargo on overdraft fees in California
The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a $203 million verdict in favor of Californians who were repeatedly charged overdraft fees by Wells Fargo Bank a decade ago.
The justices turned down the bank’s final appeal, in which Wells Fargo contended the class-action verdict was not justified.
Lawyers sued on behalf of Wells Fargo customers who used a debit card and said they were misled by the bank’s policy on overdrafts.
The judge said the bank had deceived its customers in violation of California’s consumer protection law, and he awarded $203 million in restitution to those who were charged for overdrafts between 2004 and 2008.
In its appeal to the Supreme Court, the bank argued there was no proof that the debit card users had ever read or relied upon the bank’s written policies, which were found to be deceptive. In upholding the verdict, the 9th Circuit said the California law protects consumers who have been hurt by a company’s deception, regardless of whether they read its disclosures.
The justices on Monday said they would not hear the appeal in Wells Fargo vs. Gutierrez.
On Twitter: @DavidGSavage
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