On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco heard argument in In Re: Transpacific Passenger Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation. This is a class action case about price-fixing transpacific flights, including American Airlines, among several others. The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Class Action Fairness argued before the court.
CEI Attorney Anna St. John said the following about the case:
Class counsel and the district court disregarded a conflict of interest that is costing class members with legitimate claims more than $11 million. Not only is the settlement unfair, but the representation of some class members was seriously inadequate.
The court failed to protect absent class members, a requirement under the law and a precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit should vacate and reverse the settlement approval and the class certification.
ABOUT: The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness represents class members against unfair class action procedures and settlements. Originally founded by Ted Frank in 2009, the center has won millions of dollars for consumers and shareholders and won landmark precedents that safeguard consumers, investors, courts, and the general public.
Unfair settlements generally serve self-interested lawyers and third parties at the expense of absent class members, the group of people whose rights are traded away to settle a class action. Lawyers have an interest in their fees, defendants have an interest in cheaply disposing of a lawsuit, and the class’s interests can take a back seat in the process. CEI seeks to solve these problems by representing such class members pro bono and presenting judges with the other side of the argument.