BakerHostetler cites CEI's Center for Class Action Fairness's case in their 2015 Class Action Fairness Year-End Review.
Second, in December, the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a petition for certiorari to review a settlement with Gillette, the maker of Duracell batteries. Poertner v. Gillette Co., 618 F. App’x 624 (11th Cir. 2015). In Gillette, the Eleventh Circuit approved a settlement that purported to give nearly $50 million in direct benefits to class members who bought Duracell batteries, but the class members’ actual recovery was less than $350,000. Under the settlement, Duracell also agreed to donate $6 million worth of batteries to charities, such as Toys for Tots. Premised on both the potential recovery by class members and the charitable donation, class counsel was awarded $5.6 million in fees. According to petitioners, beyond the fee-calculation question, this case also “embraces the related cy pres question of when it is appropriate to direct recoveries to charity rather than the actual class plaintiffs . . . .”
Both cases provide Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court a potential avenue to decide the “fundamental concerns” highlighted in Marek, namely, how best to compensate hard-to-reach class members without rewarding attorney manipulation seeking exorbitant fees.
Read the full article at JD Supra Business Advisor.