Defendant Maplewood Markets to pay plaintiff $10K in class action settlement

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Aug 22, 2013

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot set a final approval hearing for Nov. 12 in a class action settlement in a lawsuit against a Cahokia grocery store.

Plaintiff Willie Hadley claims he cashed a check for $1,875 at defendant Maplewood Markets, formerly known as Cahokia Mor for Less, in August 2011. In turn for cashing the check, Cahokia Mor for Less charged Hadley a $38 check cashing fee, according to the complaint filed last October in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit claims Illinois law does not allow for check cashing fees of more than 50 cents or 1 percent of the face value of the check.

Cahokia Mor for Less charged him more than was statutorily allowed, and Cahokia Mor for Less did the same thing to numerous other Illinois residents, the complaint alleges.

Lopinot on Aug. 14 ordered the parties in the case to submit a motion for final approval of class action settlement no later than seven days prior to the final approval hearing.

According to the motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement, the terms of the settlement agreement impose a permanent injunction on the defendant to comply with the Illinois Check Cashing Act. Defendant will charge the greater of $.50 or 1% of the face value of the check cashed for all customers of the defendant’s store until such time as defendant applies and receives a different license or permit from Illinois that would enable the defendant to charge a fee exceeding the limits of the Illinois Check Cashing Act.

Also according to the settlement agreement, the defendant is to pay $10,000 to the plaintiff and his attorneys, which sum shall cover any and all amounts due plaintiff, a class representative incentive award, notice fees, filing and service of process fees, and attorney’s fees.

Plaintiff Willie Hadley shall receive $800 as an incentive award for “his time effort and services as class representative, which shall be payable and delivered to class counsel within 30 days of the date the Court grants final approval of this settlement," according to the class action settlement agreement and release.

Class counsel shall receive a $9,200 payment, subject to court approval.
Hadley had requested class certification of the case, seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

The plaintiff was represented by Peter J. Maag of Maag Law Firm in Wood River, but Thomas Maag substituted his appearance for Peter Maag on Aug. 5.

In April, Lopinot indicated in an order that the parties in the lawsuit had reached a preliminary settlement.

Ryan Mahoney of Cates Mahoney in Swansea represents the defense.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-534.

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