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(Wall Street Journal)   Class action settlement: $2.73M for the lawyers, $270K to be split between plaintiffs and charities. Some people seem to have a problem with that   (blogs.wsj.com) divider line 121
    More: Interesting, legal fees, Appeals Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, class-action  
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10734 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Aug 2013 at 9:38 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



121 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-07 10:29:49 AM  

durbnpoisn: Class action lawsuits are bullshiat for the plaitiffs.  The lawyers love them, make no mistake.  They get paid no matter what.  And they longer they drag it out, the more they get paid.  In the end the plaintiffs end up with almost nothing.

The last two suits I got settlements from were like $50 or $60, when in each case, I was over $1000 out of pocket.

It's like, here in NJ, where a bunch of towns fined people illegally from traffic light cameras to the tune of about $140 each.  Even though it was proved to be illegal. They got a settlement of $8.50.  That's just great guys.  Thanks for that.

This kind of thing should not be allowed to happen.


So you have three options:

1) No one sues - you are out $1,000
2) You sue - you are out $1,000 + legal fees + filing costs etc..  IF you win, you may be made whole as to the original 1000.  But unless something crazy happened, you arent getting fee shifting.  Thus you are probably still in the hole thousands of dollars
3) someone else sues for you.  They spend all the money, take all the risks.  At the end they give you $50

so in scenario 1 you are at negative $1,000; in scenario 2 you are likley at negative $2-10,000; in scenario 3 you are at negative $950.

explain to me how scenario 3 is the worst?
 
2013-08-07 10:32:09 AM  
I wonder if a large lawyer share will ensure that the penalty is not reduced as much on appeal.
 
2013-08-07 10:33:46 AM  

max_pooper: Cold_Sassy: RamboFrog: Isn't that how most class action suits work? The lawyers get about 90% of the settlement and the people named as plaintiffs split the remaining ten percent.

Yeah, anybody who hasn't figured that out by now is pretty clueless.

If you don't think you will be happy with a class action settlement; you could for go participation in the class action suit and simply do the tens of thousands of hours of research all by yourself, prepare the tens of thousands of pages of legal documents all by yourself and argue your case in front of the judge and jury all by yourself. That way you get to keep the $200 of restitution all by yourself instead of the lawyers taking 90%.


You realize that a woman did that recently? Class action suit about the mileage on the Civic Hybrids... woman knew she could do better. Class action suit got people something like a couple hundred bucks off their next honda purchase while the lawyers made bank.

The woman who went solo got the 10-12k she was looking for.

fark class action lawsuits.
 
2013-08-07 10:35:40 AM  

Teiritzamna: untaken_name: There's an entire court system dedicated to claims under $1000. Maybe they could, I dunno, use that?

hrm.  So you are harmed to the amount of $160 by a big ass company.  You decide to sue them in small claims court.  Let us assume, as you are on fark, that you make say, $20 an hour.  Spending 8 hours of your time on it and you have pretty much wiped out any benefit - unless your hobby is filing lawsuits.  Ifg it is, go for it.  Otherwise, people tend to use small claims court only when they are really really pissed off and/or have way too much free time.  I.e. the elderly and the loonies.


Well, that's the situation today. However, had people not been lazy enough to start class actions in the first place, perhaps things would be different. It's really immaterial, however, as the alternative still exists, whether or not it's a good one. It's not like it's worth your time to cash a $1 check, either. I guess it depends on who you hate more - corporations, or lawyers.
 
2013-08-07 10:36:14 AM  

Psylence: The woman who went solo got the 10-12k she was looking for.


1) no she did not.  It was overturned on appeal.
2) that woman was a lawyer

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Judge-Overturns-Honda-Small- Cl aims-MPG-Ruling-Heather-Peters-Civic-Hybrid-150817375.html
 
2013-08-07 10:40:11 AM  

untaken_name: Well, that's the situation today. However, had people not been lazy enough to start class actions in the first place, perhaps things would be different. It's really immaterial, however, as the alternative still exists, whether or not it's a good one. It's not like it's worth your time to cash a $1 check, either. I guess it depends on who you hate more - corporations, or lawyers.


hey man - i always advocate that if people what to spend time and money on enforcing their rights - go for it!  We have a whole bunch of small claims systems to allow just that.  The trick is, most of the class action issues involve massive discovery.  Like 2 million documents discovery.  with only a few items being relevant to your claim.  and most small claims do not allow discovery, so you may never get the documents you need to prevail.  Which means you need to sue in big boy court.  Which, alas, costs money.  Lots of money. 

TL;DR - Its not laziness - there is an inherent information and power imbalance in most consumer litigation cases that is almost impossible to overcome without coordinated and expensive legal aid.
 
2013-08-07 10:44:13 AM  
capital criminal prosecution of all company executives that harm people will slow the feeding frenzy.
 
2013-08-07 10:45:18 AM  

Teiritzamna: Its not laziness


Not anymore - now it's institutionalized and controlled. But I believe that's how it started. People who thought they had better things to do than fight their own battles caused the mess we're in. Everyone these days wants someone else to fix everything for them...and then they're surprised when the person they've hired to represent their interests also represents their own interests, and maybe even puts them first.
 
2013-08-07 10:45:48 AM  

Psylence: fark class action lawsuits.


Is your suggestion to preclude the ability of a plaintiff to file such a suit?  If so, is your goal to have a single defendant have to defend several hundred, several thousand, or several tens of thousands of cases that will feature virtually identical evidence?  Do you want the courts to have to accomodate those cases?

What's your suggestion for how to handle it?

If there's something in life you say 'fark it' to, but cannot advance a reasonable and viable alternative to, then you really have no justification to complain.
 
2013-08-07 10:45:59 AM  

Teiritzamna: Psylence: The woman who went solo got the 10-12k she was looking for.

1) no she did not.  It was overturned on appeal.
2) that woman was a lawyer

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Judge-Overturns-Honda-Small- Cl aims-MPG-Ruling-Heather-Peters-Civic-Hybrid-150817375.html


Oh, snap
 
2013-08-07 10:47:34 AM  

snuffy: capital criminal prosecution of all company executives that harm people will slow the feeding frenzy.


Who do you think pays to have the laws written? Hint: its not the little guy.

So, not only will your idea not happen, the class action lawsuit will be eliminated or weakened to uslessness. (It's already beginning).
 
2013-08-07 10:48:12 AM  
I was once unknowingly part of some class action concerning credit card fees or something. I got a check in the mail for 33 cents, and the damn lawyers got millions. And yet lawyers always insist that tort reform is unnecessary. F*ck them.
 
2013-08-07 10:49:27 AM  

Albert911emt: I was once unknowingly part of some class action concerning credit card fees or something. I got a check in the mail for 33 cents, and the damn lawyers got millions. And yet lawyers always insist that tort reform is unnecessary. F*ck them.


You got free money without having to do anything. I can understand why you're upset. It's because you're a moran.
 
2013-08-07 10:53:24 AM  

Theaetetus: Albert911emt: I was once unknowingly part of some class action concerning credit card fees or something. I got a check in the mail for 33 cents, and the damn lawyers got millions. And yet lawyers always insist that tort reform is unnecessary. F*ck them.

You got free money without having to do anything. I can understand why you're upset. It's because you're a moran.


More importantly - the credit card company had to stop screwing over their customers.
 
2013-08-07 10:53:37 AM  

Albert911emt: I was once unknowingly part of some class action concerning credit card fees or something. I got a check in the mail for 33 cents, and the damn lawyers got millions. And yet lawyers always insist that tort reform is unnecessary. F*ck them.


1. Tort reform isn't about the lawyers saving their windfall (and it's not a windfall, it's payment for a service), it's about major corporations limiting the amount YOU can recover in judgment. It's about screwing you, not helping lawyers.
2. How much should a firm who handles a massive class action be paid from the judgment? Give an honest answer. Should they do it for free? Just to vindicate your rights? Should they recover costs only? So they can longer provide the service they provide? 10%? 25%? What would be fair in your estimation?
 
2013-08-07 10:53:37 AM  

untaken_name: Not anymore - now it's institutionalized and controlled. But I believe that's how it started. People who thought they had better things to do than fight their own battles caused the mess we're in. Everyone these days wants someone else to fix everything for them...and then they're surprised when the person they've hired to represent their interests also represents their own interests, and maybe even puts them first.


Or people made rational decisions about what was worth their time and effort and then unscrupulous individuals decided to take advantage of that. 

The basis of your complaints could be focused upon pretty much all of modern civilization.  People are so lazy, they don't butcher their own meat, build their own houses, weave their own clothes! 

Even back then, spending a few days in court to recoup small losses was a dumb idea.  For an individual.  Once you know that there is a price you can fark people for, and get away with it, unless you have a counterbalance people will fark customers right up to that line.  That is the reason class actions were created, not just that "durr people were too lazy to do it themselves."
 
2013-08-07 10:53:58 AM  
Albert911emt:

Gotcha beat. Once lost thousands in a fraudulent stock deal. I was part of a class action lawsuit. My split?  A check for Eleven (11!)   fricking cents.
 
2013-08-07 10:55:32 AM  

Teiritzamna: The basis of your complaints could be focused upon pretty much all of modern civilization. People are so lazy, they don't butcher their own meat, build their own houses, weave their own clothes!


Yes, precisely.
 
2013-08-07 10:57:00 AM  
Interestingly, the lawyers who pocketed the bulk of the Fen-Phen class action several years ago were sent to prison...I guess they were doing it wrong.
More:
http://www.kentucky.com/2011/04/30/1724844/farm-and-condo-owned-by-fe n -phen.html">http://www.kentucky.com/2011/04/30/1724844/farm-and-condo -owned-by-fen -phen.html#
 
2013-08-07 10:57:50 AM  
As someone who recently got a check from a class action case for $8.63, I'm getting a kick...

Also below the article is a link to a video hosted by the WSJ with the title "Opinion: Does Liberalism Always Lead to Tyranny?". Nice. I can't tell the WSJ from Fox News now.
 
2013-08-07 10:58:04 AM  

untaken_name: Teiritzamna: The basis of your complaints could be focused upon pretty much all of modern civilization. People are so lazy, they don't butcher their own meat, build their own houses, weave their own clothes!

Yes, precisely.


Ah.  Well then, since you are probably pretty tired of riding that stationary bike to generate the electricity that you are using to power the computer that you lovingly crafted from raw silicon and steel, i shall stop bothering you so you can get some rest.  Carry on.
 
2013-08-07 10:58:47 AM  

untaken_name: Well, that's what you get for signing on to a class action suit. Who doesn't know that they're scams for enriching lawyers on both sides of the case? Morons who think a $1 check constitutes some kind of victory for them.


You don't sign on to a class action suit.  The suit is certified for the class and you may have a chance to opt out if you happen to know it's going on in a reasonable timeframe.
 
2013-08-07 10:59:10 AM  
What happened to lawyers having to cap at 33 1/3% or something like that?
 
2013-08-07 10:59:34 AM  

patrick767: As someone who recently got a check from a class action case for $8.63, I'm getting a kick...

Also below the article is a link to a video hosted by the WSJ with the title "Opinion: Does Liberalism Always Lead to Tyranny?". Nice. I can't tell the WSJ from Fox News now.


Same owners, same message.

/Obey.
 
2013-08-07 10:59:35 AM  

67stang: Albert911emt:

Gotcha beat. Once lost thousands in a fraudulent stock deal. I was part of a class action lawsuit. My split?  A check for Eleven (11!)   fricking cents.


So which is better? The law firm spends millions of dollars preparing the lawsuit, gets the judge to punish the wrong doers and gets compensated for their work or there is no class action lawsuit, the company goes unpunished, continues to defraud more investors and the lawyers make zero dollars?
 
2013-08-07 11:01:03 AM  
This only serves to prove the old adage:  Once lawyers get involved, everyone looses.
 
2013-08-07 11:01:52 AM  

digitalrain: What happened to lawyers having to cap at 33 1/3% or something like that?


yeah, modern lodestar analysis is not capped to a specific percent, but that tends to be the average number.  Its almost as if exceeding numbers like that are what the article is actually about.
 
2013-08-07 11:04:09 AM  
What is that , about 90% for the lawyers? Maybe the should settle for the standard 1/3 and do the right thing.
What am I thinking, they are lawyers...?
 
2013-08-07 11:04:14 AM  

Teiritzamna: untaken_name: Teiritzamna: The basis of your complaints could be focused upon pretty much all of modern civilization. People are so lazy, they don't butcher their own meat, build their own houses, weave their own clothes!

Yes, precisely.

Ah.  Well then, since you are probably pretty tired of riding that stationary bike to generate the electricity that you are using to power the computer that you lovingly crafted from raw silicon and steel, i shall stop bothering you so you can get some rest.  Carry on.


Not that I need your permission. Also, I could live in most parts of the country with just a few simple tools if society ever broke down (don't worry, I'm not predicting that it will). Could you? No, I suppose it's much better to not know how to do anything for yourself in case of emergency.
 
2013-08-07 11:07:25 AM  

Ajakk: For everyone complaining about class action lawsuits, what do people recommend as an alternative?  If a company does something that harms 10 million people $25, how should we have a legal system that makes sure that the people who were harmed are compensated for their loss and/or the company who caused the harm does not unlawfully profit from its actions.


Did you even read the article?
 
2013-08-07 11:08:07 AM  

untaken_name: Teiritzamna: untaken_name: Teiritzamna: The basis of your complaints could be focused upon pretty much all of modern civilization. People are so lazy, they don't butcher their own meat, build their own houses, weave their own clothes!

Yes, precisely.

Ah.  Well then, since you are probably pretty tired of riding that stationary bike to generate the electricity that you are using to power the computer that you lovingly crafted from raw silicon and steel, i shall stop bothering you so you can get some rest.  Carry on.

Not that I need your permission. Also, I could live in most parts of the country with just a few simple tools if society ever broke down (don't worry, I'm not predicting that it will). Could you? No, I suppose it's much better to not know how to do anything for yourself in case of emergency.


It's nice that you're sure of that, in theory.  Yet here you are, doing exactly what you complain about others doing: relying to heavily on people doing work you couldn't possibly due (e.g. generate your power, pave your streets, run your police force, build your computer, maintain your internet, etc.).  Do you think, just maybe, you should get off your high horse and accept that this is the nature of civilization: the distribution of labor and the cooperation of those laborers to achieve otherwise impossible tasks?
 
2013-08-07 11:09:29 AM  

mattharvest: It's nice that you're sure of that, in theory. Yet here you are, doing exactly what you complain about others doing: relying to heavily on people doing work you couldn't possibly due (e.g. generate your power, pave your streets, run your police force, build your computer, maintain your internet, etc.). Do you think, just maybe, you should get off your high horse and accept that this is the nature of civilization: the distribution of labor and the cooperation of those laborers to achieve otherwise impossible tasks?


nah.  then he couldn't feel superior to people who understand that the greatest strength of humanity is our ability to pool our efforts.
 
2013-08-07 11:15:21 AM  

mattharvest: Yet here you are, doing exactly what you complain about others doing: relying to heavily on people doing work you couldn't possibly due (e.g. generate your power, pave your streets, run your police force, build your computer, maintain your internet, etc.).


Yes, I chose when to be born. Genius.

mattharvest: Do you think, just maybe, you should get off your high horse and accept that this is the nature of civilization: the distribution of labor and the cooperation of those laborers to achieve otherwise impossible tasks?


I would, except that when this country was being built, people were self-reliant (to a much larger degree than today). Now that few people are self-reliant, we're destroying the country instead of building it. I wonder if perhaps there's a connection...nah, just watch TV and hope the supermarket doesn't run out of food. Also, you have no idea what I'm doing, and yet you act like you know me, and you're lecturing ME about high horses? Good one.
 
2013-08-07 11:16:48 AM  

Teiritzamna: mattharvest: It's nice that you're sure of that, in theory. Yet here you are, doing exactly what you complain about others doing: relying to heavily on people doing work you couldn't possibly due (e.g. generate your power, pave your streets, run your police force, build your computer, maintain your internet, etc.). Do you think, just maybe, you should get off your high horse and accept that this is the nature of civilization: the distribution of labor and the cooperation of those laborers to achieve otherwise impossible tasks?

nah.  then he couldn't feel superior to people who understand that the greatest strength of humanity is our ability to pool our efforts.


That's the beauty of actually being superior. It doesn't matter whether I feel it or not. Not that you'd know anything about it.
 
2013-08-07 11:21:25 AM  

untaken_name: That's the beauty of actually being superior. It doesn't matter whether I feel it or not. Not that you'd know anything about it.


John?
images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-08-07 11:30:49 AM  

untaken_name: Yes, I chose when to be born. Genius.


Yeah, because that's at all responsive to my comment.  If you want to go live alone in the woods, no one is stopping you.

untaken_name: I would, except that when this country was being built, people were self-reliant (to a much larger degree than today). Now that few people are self-reliant, we're destroying the country instead of building it. I wonder if perhaps there's a connection...nah, just watch TV and hope the supermarket doesn't run out of food. Also, you have no idea what I'm doing, and yet you act like you know me, and you're lecturing ME about high horses? Good one.


Let's start with the obvious: [citation needed].  Where on earth did you get the nonsensical idea that "when this country was being built, people were self reliant"?  That's beyond delusional.  Assuming you  mean the USA as opposed to the nations who lived here before the European colonists, every single European colonist was someone who grew and benefited from European civilization.  Those born here after their families immigrated carried all those benefits forwards, including research (into agriculture, herding, medicine, science in general...) and simple material production (or were you unaware that the US imported massive amounts of goods including, but not limited to, weapons, etc. during the colonial periods?).

When, in your mind, did Americans stop being self-reliant?  I'm very curious, since I cannot find a single period of "self-reliance" in the history of our country.  We've always been a county of divided labor and pool resources.

You're just deluding yourself into nostalgia because you don't have any actual ideas how to fix anything.

I'll point it out one more time: for all your praise of self-reliance, you're choosing to live a life no less dependent on others than any of us.  Your simple use of all our shared resources mean you lose any privilege of complaining that we do the same.  If you want to complain about people using shared resources, you need to stop using shared resources.  In your case, that means no power, no internet, no refined metals, no manufactured materials, no farmed goods, no anything that's a product of the division and pooling of labor.
 
2013-08-07 11:32:15 AM  

untaken_name: Teiritzamna: mattharvest: It's nice that you're sure of that, in theory. Yet here you are, doing exactly what you complain about others doing: relying to heavily on people doing work you couldn't possibly due (e.g. generate your power, pave your streets, run your police force, build your computer, maintain your internet, etc.). Do you think, just maybe, you should get off your high horse and accept that this is the nature of civilization: the distribution of labor and the cooperation of those laborers to achieve otherwise impossible tasks?

nah.  then he couldn't feel superior to people who understand that the greatest strength of humanity is our ability to pool our efforts.

That's the beauty of actually being superior. It doesn't matter whether I feel it or not. Not that you'd know anything about it.


How are you superior, exactly?  Because you claim to have skills that you're not using, and because you came on the internet to posture anonymously?  Oh yes, I see such a streak of superiority.

It's really simple: if you actually believe living apart from society makes you better,  go do it.  There isn't a single person who would complain if you left.
 
2013-08-07 11:35:54 AM  

mattharvest: How are you superior, exactly?


At this point i think he is merely "stirring the fecal matter," as the kids say, since he got his ass handed to him.  I say stop feeding him and instead discuss delicious meats.

I've recently gotten into eating wild boar.
 
2013-08-07 11:36:24 AM  
Well, that escalated quickly.
 
2013-08-07 11:39:11 AM  
When I get a class action lawsuit thing in the mail, I do spend a moment figuring out how much I could get and how long it would take to fill in the form (and collect the required documentation). Then I toss the thing in the recycle bin.
 
2013-08-07 11:41:50 AM  

Fear the Clam: When I get a class action lawsuit thing in the mail, I do spend a moment figuring out how much I could get and how long it would take to fill in the form (and collect the required documentation). Then I toss the thing in the recycle bin.


Corporate America thanks you for your diligent efforts to allow them to go unpunished.
 
2013-08-07 11:44:37 AM  
Private, for-profit legal representation: what an utterly absurd idea.
 
2013-08-07 11:47:25 AM  

PunGent: And the last line says the suit was challenged by someone OTHER than the plaintiffs.


Did subby say otherwise? Subby just said "some people".
 
2013-08-07 11:54:27 AM  

Theaetetus: Albert911emt: I was once unknowingly part of some class action concerning credit card fees or something. I got a check in the mail for 33 cents, and the damn lawyers got millions. And yet lawyers always insist that tort reform is unnecessary. F*ck them.

You got free money without having to do anything. I can understand why you're upset. It's because you're a moran.


Actually consider this:  Perhaps he still uses that company.  As such, said company has to pay the millions of settlement(mostly lawyer's fees) out of current earnings.  Which means that they have to charge their customers(him) more, likely more than the .33 cents he got for the wrong doing.
 

Private_Citizen: More importantly - the credit card company had to stop screwing over their customers.


It's likely that the company 'won' some sort of freedom from any prohibition on doing it again.
 
2013-08-07 11:55:33 AM  
The whole point of the court system is to make lawyers rich.
 
2013-08-07 11:58:09 AM  

Firethorn: Actually consider this: Perhaps he still uses that company. As such, said company has to pay the millions of settlement(mostly lawyer's fees) out of current earnings. Which means that they have to charge their customers(him) more, likely more than the .33 cents he got for the wrong doing.


Company X does something wrong.  They get punished with a court judgement against them.  Company X then passes on the cost of their wrongdoing to their consumers. 

Who is the bad actor who deserves our scorn here?

Oh right!  The lawyers seeking to punish Comapny X!  If only they let them keep on screwing consumers, they wouldn't "need" to raise prices to pay for it!

The republican way works!
 
2013-08-07 12:02:02 PM  

Firethorn: Theaetetus: Albert911emt: I was once unknowingly part of some class action concerning credit card fees or something. I got a check in the mail for 33 cents, and the damn lawyers got millions. And yet lawyers always insist that tort reform is unnecessary. F*ck them.

You got free money without having to do anything. I can understand why you're upset. It's because you're a moran.

Actually consider this:  Perhaps he still uses that company.  As such, said company has to pay the millions of settlement(mostly lawyer's fees) out of current earnings.  Which means that they have to charge their customers(him) more, likely more than the .33 cents he got for the wrong doing.
 Private_Citizen: More importantly - the credit card company had to stop screwing over their customers.

It's likely that the company 'won' some sort of freedom from any prohibition on doing it again.


Doubt it. Most of the time, if a class action suit succeeds it's because the plaintiffs proved the corp was either acting illegally or so unscrupulously that they lost a judgment.

The corp will get immunity from further prosecution, but they don't get to continue that abuse. (That behavior was just proved to be so bad it cost them the case).

/The corp will have to find new ways to screw the customer.
 
2013-08-07 12:04:20 PM  
The whole class-action split is screwed up.  The lawyers should get 10%, tops.

Or, it should be legal to line up the suits who decided to screw people over and kneecap 'em.
 
2013-08-07 12:05:51 PM  
Dick the Butcher had the right idea.
 
2013-08-07 12:13:27 PM  
One lawyer can steal more with a briefcase than a thousand men with guns.
 
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