Thursday, February 15, 2007

There Oughta Be a Law!

I just received an invitation to join a class-action settlement. I am not actually eligible, since this is for people charging things in foreign lands, but it is instructive. I get invited to one or more of these parties every year or two.

What gripes me is that a class-action suit is merely a gimmick for making lawyers rich(er). This one has a settlement pool of 318 million dollars -- of which the lawyers will first extract their "costs" of administering the settlement and notice of the settlement, plus interest. They will also be able to charge for their "expenses" up to a limit of 5 million dollars. Then, out of what remains, they are "requesting" (a euphemism for demanding) 27.5 percent, a piddling $87,450,000.00 (give or take for what they have already withdrawn from the settlement fund).

The last one of these I paid any attention to had a larger settlement pool, and when all was said and done, I got a note saying that my portion worked out to be $.19, which was eaten up in sending me the notice of the settlement distribution.

I think class action lawsuits should either be illegal, or the lawyers should be entitled by law to no more than the average amount received by the members of the settlement class.

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