WILMINGTON, DEL. MBNA Corp. has agreed to pay about $7.8 million to settle a class action that charged the credit card specialist with deceptive advertising on low-rate credit cards.
The company, which has denied liability in the lawsuit and declined to discuss it Tuesday, will pay up to $6.5 million to the 1.8 million members of the class. It will pay $10,000 to Andrew Spark, the Florida plaintiff who sued MBNA in 1996 for allegedly deceiving new customers like himself who had transferred their balances to MBNA accounts without knowing that the 6.9% introductory rate did not apply to new purchases.
MBNA will also pay $1.28 million to Mr. Sparks lawyers, from the Chicago firm of Edelman, Combs & Latturner.
U.S. District Court Judge Roderick McKelvie approved the settlement Monday. James Latturner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said that if the case had gone to trial, his clients would have sought around $13 million in damages.
Other credit card issuers have recently agreed to large settlements to end cardholder lawsuits filed about various policies. Last week Chase Manhattan Corp. agreed to pay $22.2 million; earlier this year, Citigroup agreed to pay $45 million, and Providian Financial Corp. agreed to pay $300 million.