Posts Tagged ‘class action settlements’

Liability roundup

Daniel Fisher on the VW settlement

The big Volkswagen settlement dishes out a large pot of money for owners of VW diesels, whether they feel injured or not. “A roster of the country’s biggest class-action firms will get an unspecified but huge amount of fees, likely measured in the billions. And buried in the 42-page proposed settlement are tidbits for other folks, including the professional association for state attorneys general and manufacturers of electric cars. … Some AGs justify such payments as reimbursement for their investigative expenses, but as tax-supported officers it is not clear why their professional association should get the money.” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]

Liability roundup

Bloomberg profiles Ted Frank

Ted Frank, who directs the Center for Class Action Fairness and was long a co-blogger here at Overlawyered, is the subject of this Bloomberg/BNA profile from Steven Sellers of Class Action Litigation Report. A master key to Ted’s analysis of class action settlement incentives? “The Posner and Easterbrook decisions on class actions… pervade everything I do,” he says, referring to economically informed Seventh Circuit judges Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook, both also associated with the University of Chicago law school, where Ted studied. Chicken offsets get a mention, too.

“A Little Wal-Mart Gift Card for You, A Big Payout for Lawyers”

“A member of a class-action lawsuit received a Walmart gift card as part of a settlement, but because of a legal ambiguity, the real gift may be for the lawyers.” With bonus Ted Frank interview quotes [David Segal, “The Haggler,” New York Times] And more on the mentioned Duracell case as showing why the Supreme Court should police class action settlements, as Cato has urged in a brief [Ilya Shapiro]

“Objectors say Subway sandwich settlement comes up short”

Attorneys have requested $525,000 in fees in a settlement of a class action over Subway’s marketing of “foot long” sandwiches that fell short of 12 full inches. Class representatives will get a few thousand, ordinary class members will get no compensation, although the chain is changing its procedures. Ted Frank is objecting. [Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, earlier here and here]

“Yahoo settles e-mail privacy class-action: $4M for lawyers, $0 for users”

“Under the proposal, the massive class of non-Yahoo users won’t get any payment, but the class lawyers at Girard Gibbs and Kaplan Fox intend to ask for up to $4 million in fees. (The ultimate amount of fees will be up to the judge, but Yahoo has agreed not to oppose any fee request up to $4 million.) While users won’t get any payment, Yahoo will change how it handles user e-mails — but it isn’t the change that the plaintiffs attorneys were originally asking for.” [Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica]

“Should Plaintiffs Lawyers Get 94% of A Class Action Settlement?”

The Eleventh Circuit approved the settlement of a class action suit over Duracell batteries: “The four plaintiffs law firms that brought the case were together awarded $5.7 million, while the 7.26 million class members they represented divvied up just $345,000 between them.” Ted Frank, well known to our readers, is asking the Supreme Court to review the case, which presents, among other issues, a chance to offer guidance about the cy pres diversion of settlement money to charities and good causes. [Roger Parloff, Fortune, earlier]

October 28 roundup

  • India monk: I’ll need eight months to respond to court summons because my religion requires me to get there on foot [BBC]
  • NYC’s inhospitable treatment of cat cafes leaves you wondering if dogs get a better shake [Nicole Gelinas, New York Post]
  • As VW litigation heats up, keep your eye on lawyers’ angling re: multi-district litigation, advises Ted Frank [Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine; Rob Green, Abnormal Use; yet more on multi-district litigation, John Beisner, Chamber ILR]
  • A public health study “builds upon Critical Race Theory” to criticize results of Stand Your Ground doctrine in Florida, but most of the cases it uses weren’t decided on basis of that doctrine [Andrew Branco, Legal Insurrection]
  • “Subway ‘Footlong’ Settlement: Lawyers Feed, Consumers Fast” [Judicial Hellholes, earlier, note also this on Subway’s affection for the term]
  • Not only did the free market not cause that $750 generic pill, it might be on the way to generating a $1 alternative [Bonnie Kristian/Rare, my earlier take] Still, it’s a little more complicated than that, as Alex Tabarrok explains;
  • Kathleen Kane saga: “Pennsylvania Attorney General Suspended from the Bar, Still Refuses to Quit” [Hans Bader, CEI]