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$600,000 Settlement in Juror Debit Card Class Action

Outcome: $618,837.83 Settlement

Scott v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Case No.: 17-cv-00249-APM in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

This $618,837.83 settlement helps ensure that District of Columbia jurors and fact witnesses are compensated for their time and effort as required by D.C. law. At the time of filing in 2017, the District of Columbia paid a $4 daily travel subsidy to all jurors and fact witnesses and a $30 attendance fee to those who were not paid by their employer for the days they served on the jury. D.C. paid jurors by loading their payment onto a Chase Bank debit card that jurors could ostensibly convert to cash or use to make purchases directly. However, according to the complaint, these Chase Debit Cards had high fees that made it prohibitively expensive for jurors and fact witnesses to use up their entire balance. The money from these fees, and the money inevitably left on the card would be forfeited to Chase.

According to class counsel Tycko & Zavareeei’s research, no ATM within D.C. dispenses money in increments smaller than $20. Jurors who have less than $20 remaining on their card cannot withdraw money at a Chase branch without losing a significant portion because Chase charges a $7 fee for cash withdrawal and a $15 fee to withdraw the money as a check. Meanwhile, $1.50/month inactivity fees ate away at recipients’ balances. Jurors and fact witnesses in Gwinnett County, Georgia, Livingston County, Michigan, and Fort Bend County, Texas were also paid in Chase cards with similarly unfair fees.

All jurors and fact witnesses who had been paid with Chase Bank’s Juror and Fact Witness Debit Cards received a full reimbursement of any fees, as well as the remaining balance in their account. With this settlement, Tycko & Zavareei LLP ensured that jurors and fact witnesses could spend the money they had earned without unfair fees or restrictions.

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