Search Results for ‘gascho’

February 22 roundup

  • “Freedom of Association Takes Another Hit” as Washington high court rules against florist Barronelle Stutzman [Roger Pilon, Ilya Shapiro, earlier]
  • Aside from chipping away at the rule of law, job preservation via presidential threats may not work well as an economic development strategy [David Henderson]
  • NYC cops shot burglar in rear end and now he wants $10 million over that [New York Post]
  • Granting certiorari in Blackman v. Gascho case would allow Supreme Court to tackle fee abuses in class actions [Ted Frank, Daniel Fisher, earlier]
  • Will competing versions be introduced of FADA, the religious-exemption First Amendment Defense Act? [Jessica Yarvin/PBS, I’m quoted; my take on the first introduced version of the bill]
  • I talked Sunday with Maryland-based blog radio hosts Ryan Miner and Eric Beasley on topics that included the Gorsuch nomination, Chevron deference, doctor-assisted suicide, and redistricting reform [BlogTalkRadio, one of my longer audio interviews at 1:12:00]

Liability roundup

  • Recent easing of lawsuit crisis in U.S. owes much to rise of arbitration. Now organized litigation lobby is intent on taking that down, and Obama administration has helped with steps in labor law, consumer finance, and nursing-home care [James Copland, Manhattan Institute, related op-ed]
  • SCOTUS should grant certiorari to clarify lawyers’ obligation to clients in class settlement, argues Lester Brickman [amicus brief courtesy SCOTUSBlog; earlier on Blackman v. Gascho]
  • St. Louis, California, NYC asbestos litigation, south Florida and the Florida Supreme Court, and New Jersey are top five “winners” in latest annual “Judicial Hellholes” report, which also includes a focus on qui tam/whistleblower suits [American Tort Reform Association, report and executive summary]
  • Deep pocket lawsuits remain systemic problem in America for political branches to address [David Freddoso, Washington Examiner investigation]
  • Florida insurers struggle with secondhand suits under assignment of benefits doctrine [Insurance Journal]
  • Storm lawsuits in Texas: “All Hail Breaks Loose” [Mark Pulliam, City Journal]

“Courts Should Stop Approving Unfair Class Action Settlements”

A “claims-made” class action settlement

allows the defendant to make a large amount of money “available” to class members, but in order for the members to collect, they must jump through the hoops of correctly filing claims. Because of the low response rate in such settlements, the defendants will end up paying much less than the funds made available. Indeed, of the $8.5 million made available to the class members [in an action over gym membership fees], Global Fitness only paid $1.6 million — a payout of approximately 10 percent of the settlement funds. Despite this low payout to plaintiffs, class counsel are still paid a certain rate based on the funds that were made available — not the funds that were actually paid out — in some instances giving them attorney fees larger than the class members’ damages award!

The class counsel here were paid $2.4 million, nearly $1 million more than the class members collected.

Josh Blackman, a Cato adjunct scholar and law professor, is a member of the class and raised objections to the settlement. [Ilya Shapiro and Frank Garrison, Cato, on Blackman v. Gascho]

October 10 roundup