Jones v. Wells Fargo

VERDICT

Trial
12/01/10 – 03/23/11

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Summary

In this finance industry civil rights class action litigation proceeding, plaintiff Opal Jones alleged Wells Fargo Bank NA and its staff of racial discrimination by not using a software program called "Loan Economics" that made it possible for loan officers to offer lower rates to some borrowers. The plaintiffs claimed that a Wells Fargo manager in Los Angeles prohibited the use of the Loan Economics program in neighborhoods where minorities exceeded 50% of the population, because minorities were considered less likely to shop for lower rates. As a result, approximately 7,000 minority borrowers allegedly paid more for their home loans than white borrowers.

The plaintiffs were represented by attorney Barry Cappello. The defendant in this case, Wells Fargo Bank NA and other defendants were represented by attorney Thomas Nolan.

The jury deliberated nearly four weeks before determining that Wells Fargo did discriminate based on race, but only with respect to 880 loans. Damages of $4,000 were awarded for each of the 880 loans, for a total award to the class of $3.52M. The jury also found racial discrimination and breach of contract with respect to some of the named class members, and awarded additional damages. The jury did not find that Wells Fargo acted with malice.

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Outcome

Wells Fargo did discriminate based on race
Damages: 880 loans @ 4,000= 3,520,000
Opal Jones: Additional Damages-5,670, Pre-judgement interest-1,401.75, Breach of contract- 1
Claudia Caldwelll: Additional Damages-4,340.80, Pre-judgement interest-657.02, Breach of contract-1

Recording Disclaimer: This proceeding was recorded in parts only. Available recordings do not represent the full proceeding.

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