Google’s $5.5M Settlement Fails to Benefit Class Members, Objector Says

Top Class Actions reports on  and objection to an unfair class action settlement from CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness’s founder, Ted Frank. 

Class Member Theodore Frank filed his objection to the Google class action settlement on Dec. 20, with help from the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness.

Frank is challenging the distribution of millions in settlement funds among several public interest organizations that focus on privacy rights and technology issues, instead of among Class Members who may have actually been affected by Google’s actions.

Under terms of the Google class action settlement, Class Members would receive none of the $5.5 million settlement fund. The money is instead destined for a list of third-party public interest organizations, known in class action legal terminology as “cy pres” recipients.

Organizations that would receive payments under the Google class action settlement would include the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, public interest law firm Public Counsel, and the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

Frank argues that distribution of all, or even just most, of the settlement funds to cy pres recipients violates Third Circuit case law.

He cites prior court decisions that say settlements must provide “sufficient direct benefit” to Class Members. Cy pres shares should generally comprise no more than a small fraction of settlement awards, he argues.

Read the full article at Top Class Actions.