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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."
 

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  • 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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      1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

      2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

      3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

      4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

      5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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