German American Bank settles $3M class-action lawsuit

Jasper-based German American Bancorp (Nasdaq: GABC) has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the bank overcharged customers for overdraft fees.

The bank has agreed to pay more than $3 million to the plaintiffs, though it denies any wrongdoing.

The case was filed by a Marion County resident in 2020. She claimed she was charged overdraft fees for debit card charges that were approved at the time of purchase.

“The plaintiffs allege that defendant German American Bancorp., Inc. (“GAB”) incorrectly assessed the following fees: (1) fees assessed on debit card transactions when there was a sufficient balance at the time the transaction was authorized, but there was an insufficient balance when the transaction subsequently settled; and (2) fees assessed on a transaction that posted when there were sufficient funds in the account to cover the transaction. If you are a Class Member and if the Settlement is approved, you may be entitled to receive a cash payment from the $3,050,00.00 fund established by the Settlement.”

As part of the settlement, German American is not acknowledging any wrongdoing.

“Defendant does not in any way acknowledge, admit to, or concede any of the allegations made in the Amended Complaint, and expressly disclaims and denies any fault or liability, or any charges of wrongdoing that have been or could have been asserted in the Amended Complaint. Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be used or construed as an admission of liability and this Agreement shall not be offered or received in evidence in any action or proceeding in any court or other forum as an admission or concession of liability or wrongdoing of any nature or for any other purpose, other than to enforce the terms of this Agreement,” the settlement said. “While Defendant disputes the allegations in the lawsuit and vehemently denies any liability or wrongdoing, it enters into the settlement solely to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and distraction of further proceedings in the litigation.”

A final approval hearing will be held in Indianapolis before the agreement is finalized.

Here is the summary of the settlement agreement.

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