Decohen v. Capital One, N.A.

Decohen v. Capital One, N.A.


UPDATE: ON APRIL 17, 2014, THE COURT GRANTED FINAL SETTLEMENT APPROVAL.  The Court's Order and Memorandum Opinion granting final settlement approval can be viewed in the "Court Documents" link to the right.

This webpage provides information about a proposed Settlement in a lawsuit – Decohen v. Capital One, N.A. – currently pending in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-03157-WDQ.  The lawsuit was brought by Phillip Decohen (the “Representative Plaintiff”) as a proposed class action.

The Complaint alleges that Capital One acquired installment sales contracts for the purchases of automobiles from Maryland automobile dealers, which financed debt cancellation agreements or GAP Agreements that could not be financed under Maryland law.  Based on these allegations, Representative Plaintiff filed a lawsuit asserting six claims for relief: (1) violation of the CLEC; (2) violation of Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act; (3) violation of the Maryland Retail Installment Sales Act; (4) breach of contract; (5) declaratory and injunctive relief; and, (6) unjust enrichment and restitution. 

Capital One has denied all of Plaintiff’s claims and denies any wrongdoing and any liability to Plaintiff or to any putative class members in any amount.  Capital One contends that Representative Plaintiff's claims have no merit and that, if the lawsuit were to proceed, Capital One would prevail at trial.

This settlement was reached as the result of arms-length negotiations, including extensive mediation proceedings spanning nine months before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey.  The settlement requires approval by the Court, and the Court has ordered Notice to Class members to advise them of the proposed settlement so that they can consider their legal rights.

The parties arrived at this settlement before the Court determined whether class certification was appropriate.  Accordingly, there has been no finding that Capital One violated any law in its conduct toward Class Members.  Capital One has not admitted to any liability.  This Settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and is not an indication of liability of any sort.  Neither the Settlement nor this Notice should be construed as an admission or concession of liability by Capital One. 

Counsel for the Representative Plaintiff and the Class (“Class Counsel”) have investigated the facts and the applicable law regarding the matters raised in the lawsuit.  The issues before the Court are complex and there is uncertainty as to the outcome of the lawsuit.  Class Counsel believe that the claims raised in the lawsuit have merit, but recognize that there is a risk that no class would be certified, leaving the Class Members no means for recovery without filing their own separate lawsuits.  Therefore, the Representative Plaintiff, on behalf of all others similarly situated, has entered into a Settlement Agreement with Capital One made as of December 20, 2013 (the “Settlement Agreement”).  The Court has given its preliminary approval of the Settlement Agreement.  If the Court grants final approval of the Agreement, it will fully and finally resolve the claims asserted by the Representative Plaintiff against Capital One, on behalf of himself and anyone else in the Class.


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