One million customers won a class-action lawsuit in San Francisco against Bank of America yesterday, and The Wall Street Journal reports that the victory may result in the bank having to pay $1 billion to reimburse them.

Because it took the customers’ social security deposits and applied them toward customer fees and overdrafts, the jury said, Bank of America should pay each customer $1,000.

Superior Court Judge Ann Bouliane, however, has the final say in deciding which of the claimants should be compensated, and how much compensation there should be. The alleged mishandling of money allegedly took place in 1998, when NationsBank Corp. had still not yet taken over BankAmerica Corp.

Last week Bank of America agreed to pay $33 million to settle a separate California suit that accused it of overcharging clients for trust accounts.

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