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OReely

Class Action Lawsuits

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I just got an email from my brokerage house. It seems I'm a member of the class in a lawsuit for which they were responsible for letting my email address out to stock spammers. My cut of the settlement - a years membership to an anti spam program. A couple of charities split up $55,000. The lawyers get almost $1.9 million.

This email brought to mind numerous other class action suits that I have been a party to. I never found once where the settlement for me was really worth my time. I recently saw a class action advertised in the paper for a hands free device that may be turned up loud enough to cause hearing damage. The lawyers got $800,000 and the company donated something like $100,000 to a charity. The users of the product, the people actually (or possibly) affected by the product didn't get anything out of it (if I remember correctly).

This just seems to be higher level ambulance chasing to me. Has anyone, besides lawyers, ever received any significant benefit from a class action lawsuit? I'm not talking about lawsuits where a social injustice or some such thing was fixed. What I'm referring to are these product based suits that seem to enrich the legal teams with millions of dollars and the customers get a coupon for a large fry.

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I am an attorney and I think you've got it about right.

And what you describe is probably the reason for the rule allowing class actions. That is, there are various kinds of claims out there that are legit, but too small for any single party to prosecute. The class action mechanism gives means and and incentive to bring those cases to court, where you have large numbers of persons with the same grievance.

Not saying its good or bad, but that is the rationale, or part of it anyway.

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I am an attorney and I think you've got it about right.

And what you describe is probably the reason for the rule allowing class actions. That is, there are various kinds of claims out there that are legit, but too small for any single party to prosecute. The class action mechanism gives means and and incentive to bring those cases to court, where you have large numbers of persons with the same grievance.

Not saying its good or bad, but that is the rationale, or part of it anyway.

Like to many laws.... there intint gets clouded by greed and smart people

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I did receive the benefit of hollering "stick it fuqin' to 'em!!!" whenever I received my letter about the class action suit against Mercury Marine for the pathetic 2000/2001 big bore Optimax engines. Still makes me feel good thinking about reading it. :605_thumbs_up:

The suit must have worked, because they got the things right after that. And after I went through 6 engines in less than a year. :1898_:

I never got a penny, nor any satisfaction from Mercury Marine.

Big Al

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I'm sure there are plenty of good reasons for class action lawsuits. It's also probably true that there are plenty of good reasons not to have them. I'm not trying to bash lawyers either.

It just seems wrong to me, at least in certain instances. Take, for example, the hands free device suit. The lawyers get a pile of money and the people who might have been harmed get nothing. These people, the device purchasers, are only involved in the suit enough to give the attorneys the ability to bring the suit. The device company will probably have to put some lame warning in the instructions in the future that states "listening to this device at full volume could cause hearing loss". Duh, turn it down.

Now if the addition of a hearing aid for each injured person were included, I would find it more about the harmed people and less about the money for the lawyers.

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What I don't understand is this: I've gotten at least a dozen class action suit notices about stocks I own. Now obviously, they knew I owned then during the prescribed period of time, or they wouldn't have contacted me. They send a several page form that has to be filled out. Now I'm not going to dig through old broker statements to get the info to fill this out. Since they already have the info (hey, they contacted me, didn't they?), why not fill it out for me, send it for signature, and I'll send it back. I've always had the sneaking feeling, that they were better off if I didn't respond. Do they get to divvy up a bigger pot if I don't respond? Anyone out there know?

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I was involved in a class action lawsuit once:

http://www.gunsmoke.com/guns/rem_lawsuit_result.html

Ended up with a check for about $5.50, AND I got to keep the shotgun barrel that might blow up in my face someday.

Anybody up for some skeet or trap this weekend?

:2261_high:

Trapping skeets is way overrated. By the time you clean and dress them, there is literally nothing left to put on the grill.

Big Al

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We can talk about the greater good of the class action law suit. Any lawyer will tell you it is about what THEY can collect not the "injured" group. There is a class action law suit in my state saying that Dealers are practicing law when he charges a Doc fee. The lawyers representing the class of customers have made their demands known they want 5 million dollars to settle. Nothing more than lawyer extorting and using mafia type strong arming.

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I was involved in a class action lawsuit once:

http://www.gunsmoke.com/guns/rem_lawsuit_result.html

Ended up with a check for about $5.50, AND I got to keep the shotgun barrel that might blow up in my face someday.

:2261_high:

Yep, I normally throw them in the trash. Not worth the time it takes to read thru it most of the time.

And to Oreely, I don't think the number of responses has an effect on the attorney's fees. But I sure aint no expert on the subject. Last time I thought more than about 5 minutes about a class action suit was back in law school.

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