January 18, 2018 Update:
The Circuit Court for Montgomery County overruled all objections, approved the Settlement Agreement and certified the Defendant Settlement Class on January 11, 2018. You can review the Court's opinion and judgment here. We expect the escrow administrator to issue invoices to members of the Defendant Settlement Class in the next few days and will update this website when that occurs.
This website contains information related to a class action in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Yang v. G&C Gulf, d/b/a G&G Towing, Case No. 403885-V. It is specifically designed for members of the Defendant Class of Montgomery County property-owners, which the Circuit Court for Montgomery County certified on November 14, 2016.
Nature of The Case
This case began as a putative plaintiff class action of more than 25,000 individuals whose vehicles had been towed against a single defendant: G&C Gulf, Inc. (“G&G”), the towing company that towed their vehicles. In May 2016, the Circuit Court for Montgomery County entered a $22 million stipulated judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and against the towing company and, in conjunction with that judgment, certified a plaintiff class against the towing company. Pursuant to the agreement between the plaintiff class and the towing company, the towing company agreed to pay $335,000 of the judgment into a common fund, and plaintiffs agreed to refrain from further collection efforts against the towing company.
On the day after the hearing at which the Court approved the settlement with the towing company, the original Named Plaintiff served Defendant Bruce Patner with a second amended complaint. This amended complaint added claims against Mr. Patner and a putative class of defendant property owners, property managers, and homeowner associations in Montgomery County from whose properties cars had been towed by G&G. The complaint asserts that the property owners, property managers, and homeowner associations are derivatively liable for the acts of G&G, based on their alleged contracts with G&G. In other words, Plaintiffs seek to recover the damages they were unable to recover from G&G from the property owners, property managers, and homeowner associations.
On November 14, 2016, over Mr. Patner’s objection, the Circuit Court for Montgomery County certified a defendant class and appointed Mr. Patner as its representative. The Defendant Class is defined as:
All Parking Lot owners, managers and agents who entered into a written contract
with G&G Towing for the provision of trespass towing services which resulted in
one or more vehicles being towed from the Parking Lot between April 16, 2012
and January 7, 2016.
Mr. Patner challenged the Circuit Court's decision to certify a defendant class by filing a petition for writ of mandamus with Maryland's Court of Appeals on January 20, 2017. The Court of Appeals, however, denied Mr. Patner's petition on March 24, 2017.
In December 2016, Mr. Patner agreed to go to non-binding mediation on Plaintiffs' claims against the Defendant Class with the Hon. James Eyler (retired from the Court of Special Appeals). After months of meeting and calls and multiple exchanges of proposals, the parties reached agreement on the terms of a settlement on most, but not all, of Plaintiffs' claims. The Circuit Court preliminarily approved the proposed settlement on October 10, 2017, and scheduled a hearing to consider the parties motion for final approval of the settlement on January 4, 2018, at 1:30 pm at the Circuit Court for Montgomery County.
As explained in the Notice to Members of the Defendant Class, Parking Lot owners or managers, who entered into a written contract with G&G Towing for towing services, which resulted in one or more vehicles being towed from a parking lot in Montgomery County, Maryland, between April 26, 2013 and June 23, 2017 will be affected by the proposed Settlement Agreement if the Circuit Court approves it on January 4, 2018. If the Settlement Agreement is approved, each member of the Defendant Class will owe money to the Plaintiff Class, based on the number of tows from its Montgomery County Parking Lots between April 26, 2013 and June 23, 2017, unless the member take specific steps to exclude itself from the Defendant Settlement Class. Specifically, each member will owe $390/tow plus a pro rata share of the fees of the Defendant Class Representative and the Defendant Class's appointed attorneys.
As set forth in the Notice, the deadline for members of the Defendant Class to "opt-out" or exclude themselves from the Settlement or to file an objection to the Settlement is December 15, 2017.
Plaintiffs' claims related to G&G tows from Montgomery County Parking Lots between April 26, 2012 and April 25, 2013, will continue to be litigated in the Circuit Court and are not affected by the proposed Settlement. Many members of the Defendant Class have tows that are affected by the Settlement and additional tows from between April 26, 2012 and April 25, 2013, that will continue to be litigated. Specific information about the tows that have been attributed to each member of the Defendant Class (including the dates of the tows) can be found here.
If you have questions concerning your rights, options, and potential liabilities as a member of the Defendant Class, you can call Kramon & Graham, P.A. at 410-752-6030, and ask for someone working on the Towing Class Action.
Defendant Class Counsel
The Circuit Court for Montgomery County has appointed James P. Ulwick, Jean E. Lewis, and Louis P. Malick as attorneys for the certified Defendant Class. Here is their contact information:
James P. Ulwick
Jean E. Lewis
Louis P. Malick
Kramon & Graham, PA
One South Street, Suite 2600
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 361-8219 Fax
Yang v. G&G Towing
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