Re: class action madness continues
Posted by Kevin on 4/16/04
On 4/14/04, mary wrote:
> And this mass tort class action nonsense is a good idea
> for plaintiffs?
> From the AP:
> "BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A $300 million settlement of
> federal claims over PCB contamination in Anniston, Ala.,
> will give plaintiffs an average of $7,725 each while
> paying their attorneys millions apiece - including $29
> million to the firm of California celebrity lawyer Johnnie
Mary, DD, Greg and John:
The plaintiffs will get "an average" payment of $7,725 each.
Obviously this is some lazy reporter's way of
sensationalizing his/her story in order to attract readers.
The total size of the settlement fund was probably divided by
the total number of putative class members, including many
who have no legitimate claims and/or would not have had the
resources or the will to take on Monsanto individually.
I'm certain there is a settlement matrix that compensates
class members based upon the severity of their claim. Many
will be people who are not actually injured and will get
little or nothing. There will be a court-approved settlement
adminsitrator who will likley review each claim for
compensation, and the funds distributed accordingly.
I'm not saying this is the best result they could have gotten
had they individually brought their actions and proved
causation, and proved damages, and succeeded on all levels
throughout the appellate process. But this is a compromise,
and that why it's called "settlement."
The real vultures in all this will be the lawyers who run ads
in the local papers and TV stations scaring class members
into hiring them "so they can be advised of their rights" for
a fee to recover money that's already theirs. Class counsel
has already been paid for this, and all class members are
entitled to receive their assistance from class counsel
without additional fees.
It's not a perfect world. That's what Monsanto was counting
on when the suit was first filed many years ago.
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