More on cosmetics giveaway settlement

Susan Taylor Martin writes in the St. Petersburg Times on problems with class-action settlements, including a recent one in Florida that seems basically to have pitted Florida drivers against Florida taxpayers (she quotes me on how this can empower lawyers to move money from our left pockets to our right pockets at a high overhead cost). She also reports on the national cosmetics giveaway that recently took place following a class-action antitrust suit (see Jan. 29, etc.) A highlight:

I also asked Saveri [San Francisco class-action attorney Guido Saveri, one of the lead counsel] if he thought the giveaway program had been rather loosely administered. Customers didn’t have to prove they were part of the class, and there was nothing to stop them from getting as many cosmetics as they could. The result: Stores quickly ran out and a lot of people who were members of the class didn’t get anything.

“I think it was very well administered,” Saveri said, a bit huffily. “Each person had to file a piece of paper that they were entitled to one product — whether you want to lie about it I can’t control that.”

Before we hung up I asked Saveri if any of his female relatives got free cosmetics. Turns out the giveaway was off limits to attorneys’ families.

But with $24 million, they can afford to shop at Neiman-Marcus. As for me, I’ll wait until L’Oreal goes on sale at my local CVS.

Back in November 2006, we called it a “no-blush, high-gloss, invisible-foundation antitrust class action”.

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