New BMV class-action suit alleges drivers overcharged

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The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is facing new allegations that it overcharged drivers for multiple services.

Plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit could secure refunds for overcharges on vehicle registrations and other services if their suit succeeds. The suit could also open the way to further discovery of overcharges by the BMV.

The Indianapolis-based law firm Cohen & Malad LLP filed the lawsuit in October. A Marion County Superior Court Judge denied the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit last week, according to The Indianapolis Star.

The suit follows on the heels of a similar legal battle. The BMV agreed to settle a previous lawsuit this past August and refund $30 million to residents who had been overcharged for driver's licenses.

Cohen & Malad, which also filed the first BMV lawsuit, collected $6.3 million in attorney fees, or about 21 percent, of the $30 million awarded. Individuals who were overcharged received refunds of $3.50 to $15.

Cohen & Malad lawyer Irwin Levin called the court's ruling on the latest suit a victory for Hoosiers.

"The court has essentially ruled that the BMV can't simply say 'Trust us' and throw out the case," Levin said. "Hoosiers now get to ask the BMV the tough questions about this debacle and get the answers they deserve."

But BMV commissioner Don Snemis said he "respectfully disagrees" with the judge's ruling and plans to appeal the decision.

"Any BMV credits that were arguably due and owing to the people of Indiana have already been issued," he said. "The only thing sought by this lawsuit is more attorney fees for the class-action lawyers, which, if granted, will be paid by Hoosiers."


  • Blame the Lawyers?
    The BMV over charges you and it's the lawyers fault for filing suit? The State denied the accusation and would not return the money on their own and it's the lawyers fault? If I could go to another agency and get my license because of an overcharge and failure to rectify, like I can with most any business, then fine. For those blaming the attorneys for protecting your rights and money, please come to my business. I will be happy to sell you a Coke with a list price of $1.29 for $5. It is only $4 over and I could use the money.
  • Really
    Hey Tall Jim your sense of civic duty to take what was originally mine is well, quite touching. I'm beginning to well up here!! I'm over come with gratitude toward the lawyers benevolence.
  • Vultures
    Attorneys are like vulture...they just keep picking at the bones until all the meats gone. I agree the BMV errored, but no way should the attorneys make 6.3 million. The money will he paid by tax payers, so who is stealing from who?
  • Enough
    I can only assume that Tall Jim is an attorney as well. Yes, the BMV needs to get this issue fixed. However, I do not see a need to further enrich a vulture attorney tht has already benefited from this same issue. Is this to be an annual source of cash flow for Cohen & Malad? They can have my $3.65. Just get it fixed BMV!!!
  • Class Action
    You complain about the wrong thing--blaming the attorney. it's the BMV that goofed up and kept your money. If no one does class actions then citizens continue to get ripped.
    • Which judge denied the dismissal of this ridiculousness?
      Great. Another absurd class action where the "plaintiffs" get a few pennies and the class action attorneys get a new jet. No wonder this country is so screwed up these days.
      • Just a ...
        I got my $9 refund. I wonder if Mr. Levin will be spending his $6.3 million at the same place I spend my $9. Doubtful.

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