On July 8, 2009, Hagens Berman reached a settlement agreement with Expedia valued at more than $123.4 million, which was the largest consumer class-action settlement in the state of Washington at that time.

Case Status
Settlement Amount
$123.4 Million
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Case Number
Expedia Group, Inc.
File Date

This class-action lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of consumers nationwide, alleged travel-booking giant Expedia defrauded its customers by repeatedly breaching its contractual obligations and charging service fees under false pretenses in millions of hotel booking transactions. 

The class action claimed Expedia purchased hotel rooms at a wholesale rate, and then annexed a "tax and service fees" charge to the rate it provided consumers. According to the lawsuit, Expedia paid taxes on the lower wholesale rate at which it purchased rooms, not on the higher rate it charged to consumers. The lawsuit contended that Expedia included the tax charge with the service fee and pocketed the difference between the wholesale and consumer tax rates. The class action also contends that Expedia breached its contractual promise by charging service fees that bore no relation to the costs of servicing a reservation but were simply designed to offset overhead and pad the profits of each reservation.

According to court documents, there were potentially as many as 15 million Expedia customers impacted.


Settlement Distribution

Expedia placed settlement credits in the accounts of those eligible to receive them. Checks for class members who elected to receive and were eligible to receive a cash payment were distributed beginning in June 2010.

Settlement Receives Final Approval

The Honorable Monica J. Benton, at King County Superior Court, granted final approval of the settlement at the Final Approval Hearing, held Dec. 1, 2009. Subsequent appeals were filed challenging aspects of the Final Approval Order and have since been resolved.

Settlement Agreement Reached

Hagens Berman reached a settlement agreement with Expedia including $123.4 million in cash payments and Expedia Settlement Credit that can be used for hotel reservations and "package" reservations that include hotel reservations.

Court Grants Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment

In 2009, after four years of litigation, a King County Superior Court judge granted the plaintiffs summary judgment and ordered Expedia to return $184 million in service fees to hotel customers. Expedia announced plans to appeal the verdict.  

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