Late last week the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled in Ascena v. Rougvie that the $14 million fee request by attorneys in a coupon settlement over Justice clothing store sales was excessive under federal law and that only $5.3 million could be currently justified. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness (CEI) represented two class members objecting to the class action settlement arising out of fake "sales" at Justice stores.
"We are encouraged to see a district court take seriously its duty to class members,” CEI attorney Adam Schulman said. “As a result here, up to $9 million will return from class counsel's coffers to class members' pockets."
The original settlement would have unacceptably allowed class counsel to capture 50 percent of the concrete settlement benefit, leaving most class members with nothing other than a coupon to Justice stores that was subject to severe usage restrictions. This ruling provides real relief to the class and hedges in the overzealous class attorneys.