Win for Consumers in Bickerstaff v. SunTrust

The Georgia Supreme Court overturned a Georgia Court of Appeals decision prohibiting Jeff Bickerstaff Jr. from representing other consumers in a class action lawsuit against SunTrust Bank regarding excessive overdraft fees. The Supreme Court held that a proposed class representative was permitted to reject mandatory and binding arbitration on behalf of other bank customers who are similarly situated.

By filing his complaint before the limitation period to opt out of arbitration ended, Bickerstaff – represented by the law firm Bondurant Mixson & Elmore – sufficiently demonstrated his intent to sue SunTrust in a court of law and reject an arbitration process that would have otherwise prevented a judge and jury from hearing and deciding his case.

Georgia Watch agreed to file a “friend-of-the court” brief in the case as part of our Civil Justice initiative to promote access to the courts and we are pleased that the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision significantly protects consumers who wish to join others who experienced the same wrongs.