June 27, 2009In 2007, plaintiffs brought a class action lawsuit against Ameritrade, alleging that Ameritrade was somehow behind the plaintiffs' receiving spam pushing the purchase of certain stocks--because, after all, there is no other way that anyone receives spam.
In 2008, the parties settled, with $1.87M for the attorneys, and zero pecuniary benefits to the 6.2-million-member class other than coupons for anti-virus software. Unfortunately for the attorneys,
at the preliminary approval hearing, Matthew Elvey, one of the class representatives, came forward and expressed numerous “reservations” about the settlement. He suggested that the gains the class would receive under the settlement had the appearance of benefitting the class but were, in operation, trivial.This is understatement: Elvey told the court that he opposed the settlement, and even filed...
June 23, 2009The plaintiffs and defendants each filed their briefs yesterday in the $0-for-the-class and $800k-for-the-attorneys settlement. Note that defendants were required to pay $1M in notice costs. Yet still, there were class members who did not hear of the settlement until my Overlawyered post publicizing it--a post that comes in for some ad hominem criticism in the plaintiffs' briefs, a classic case of pounding the table.
June 17, 2009"If you bought a Bluetooth headset between June 30, 2002 and February 19, 2009, the settlement of a class action lawsuit may affect your rights." And if you want to know why your instruction manuals are overwhelmed with worthless wacky warnings, the settlement of this class action lawsuit may explain why.
Overlawyered has covered other ridiculous failure-to-warn-of-hearing-loss consumer-fraud lawsuits, but missed this one filed by the Garcia Law Firm, which was eventually consolidated with twenty-six other lawsuits against Motorola, Plantronics, and GN Netcom (which makes "Jabra" headsets) alleging that the insufficiently advertised risk of hearing loss from turning the volume up too high on a Bluetooth headset was consumer fraud meriting...
June 17, 2009This is the blog for the Center for Class Action Fairness, a non-profit project founded by Ted Frank to provide pro bono representation to consumers dissatisfied with court-appointed representatives in class actions, especially with respect to settlement approval.
I'm Ted Frank. The idea came from the success of my pro se objection to the settlement in the In re Grand Theft Auto MDL.
I often get inquiries on what consumers can do when they get notice of a class-action settlement that benefits lawyers to the expense of consumers. Without attorneys like CCAF, the answer is usually nothing: asking for exclusion doesn't prevent the lawyers from cashing in;...