“Wayne County, Mich. Judge Kathleen MacDonald slapped a Dearborn man with an injunction ordering him to take down his Facebook comments critical of a class-action settlement of a case against McDonald’s for selling non-halal meat.” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes; Paul Alan Levy, Public Citizen; Ted Frank, PoL] More: Blue Dog Thoughts.
“The expected amount left over for affected motorists is just $6″ and if motorists don’t file a claim, reversions go to defendant American Traffic Solutions (ATS). “More than 81,000 citations worth $10.2 million were issued in New Jersey through red light camera programs that were not in compliance with state law.” Lawyers who filed the suit are in line to collect $800,000. [The Newspaper; AnnMarie McDonald, NJLRA]
The judge found fault with a cy pres diversion of funds to charity. Ted Frank had criticized the settlement as leaving consumers in arguably a worse position than if the lawyers hadn’t sued. [Point of Law, earlier]
It may be worse than before class action lawyers got involved, argues Ted Frank [Point of Law]
Ted’s successful 7th Circuit objection in June in a Sears shareholder class action (Easterbrook: “The only goal of this suit appears to be fees for the plaintiffs’ lawyers”), which raised widespread discussion, is just one in a string of wins for his Center for Class Action Fairness in recent months. In a settlement involving complaints against Classmates.com, the judge agreed with the arguments of CCAF client (and George Mason lawprof) Michael Krauss, rapped class counsel’s knuckles with a $100,000 sanction for discovery tactics that amounted to harassment (see section III-D), and ordered a better deal for class members [PoL] And in yet another noteworthy case: “The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a settlement of a class action over potentially leaky Volkswagen sunroofs that would have paid the lawyers who negotiated it $9.2 million in fees and the majority of car owners nothing.” [Daniel Fisher/Forbes, Ted at PoL, earlier]
“Could the only cash payment so far from a credit rating agency in shareholder litigation stemming from the financial crisis go entirely to plaintiffs’ lawyers? It’s entirely possible, based on documents filed this week in consolidated shareholder derivative litigation against Moody’s.” [Nate Raymond, Reuters]
Martin Redish (Northwestern) and John Beisner (Skadden Arps) were among the panelists at the June 1 hearing, and cy pres slush funds were a particular focus of interest [John O'Brien/Legal NewsLine, Ted Frank/PoL]
As reported in January, the maker of the tasty chocolate-and-hazelnut spread has been paying millions to settle class actions filed on behalf of consumers purportedly outraged to find it is not a health food. Among the new coverage: David Paulin, American Thinker; Rebecca Stropoli, The Exchange/Yahoo.