Case Name: Kathy Corum, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank of Kentucky, Inc., et al
Abstract: Plaintiffs brought this action against Fifth Third Bank of Kentucky, Inc., and Fifth Third Bancorp (collectively “Fifth Third”) alleging that the late fees they imposed on their automobile leases are unreasonable under the Consumer Leasing Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1667(b)b. Plaintiffs re-asserted their Motion for Class Certification. Fifth Third opposed class certification because mere notice of it could create significant harm to its business interests. The Court and the parties considered alternatives to immediate certification and notice, including the use of the “test case” approach. A test case could determine if Fifth Third is liable to the named Plaintiff for its alleged violations of the Consumer Leasing Act, i.e. whether the late fee imposed on her automobile lease was reasonable under 15 U.S.C. § 1667b(b). However, before deciding on the use of the “test case,” the Court needed further consultation with the parties, concerning the extent to which the results are binding and concerning the use of subclasses. Assuming everyone agrees to the test case as set out above, the Court would reserve certification of the class and defer notice to that tentatively defined class until the issue of liability is tried. The Court would intend to accept the class definition propounded by Plaintiffs, but reserves the right, after the issue of liability has been tried for the named Plaintiff, to alter the definition appropriately. Depending on the outcome of the test case, the Court may alter the class definition, change its holding on certification, or the parties may reconsider the virtues of going forward with such an action.