Yang v. G&G Towing
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 (Updated as of July 22, 2019)
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 finally approved the settlement ("the 2017 Settlement") on January 16, 2018. You can review the Court's opinion and judgment here.
As explained in the Judgment and in the Notice to Members of the Defendant Class, the 2017 Settlement resolved the claims of those Parking Lot owners or managers who did not opt-out of the settlement and 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. Each member of the Defendant Class who participated in the 2017 Settlement paid $390/tow to the Plaintiff Class and $27.75/tow in fees and costs for a total of $417.75/tow.
The Court recently approved a proposed compromise of those tows between April 26, 2012 and April 25, 2013 ("the 2019 Proposed Compromise"). Specifically, those members of the Defendant Class who elect to participate in the 2019 Proposed Compromise will pay $72/tow to the Plaintiff Class and approximately $27/tow in fees and costs for a total of $99/tow in return for a release from the Plaintiff Class. The 2019 Proposed Compromise also allows those members of the Defendant Class who opted out of the 2017 Settlement on the later tows (April 26, 2013 to June 23, 2017) to resolve the claims related to those later tows by paying $400/tow to the Plaintiff Class and approximately $27/tow in fees and costs for a total of approximately $427/tow.
Specific information about the older tows (between April 26, 2012 and April 25, 2013) can be found here. Specific information about the later tows (between April 26, 2013 and June 23, 2017) can be found here.
A copy of the Court's Order preliminarily approving the 2019 Proposed Compromise can be found here. A hearing on the 2019 Proposed Compromise has been scheduled for August 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. If the Court approves the 2019 Proposed Compromise, a "demand" from the Plaintiff Class will be sent to members of the Defendant Class together with a letter from Defendant Class Counsel explaining the proposed compromise in greater detail.
If you are a member of the Defendant Class, and you have questions concerning your rights, options, and potential liabilities, you may 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
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