Review of 2012 Class Actions Reported in Law360 Finds Benefits to Consumers

Gary E. Mason of Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP has written The Proper Measure Of The Value Of Class Actions for Law360.  Excerpt:

Of the 118 cases initiated in 2012, 102 (or nearly 90 percent) had reached a final resolution by May 1, 2017, the date on which our study closed. Twenty-three of those cases (or nearly 20 percent of the resolved cases) were ended by a class action settlement.

Nine of the 23 class action settlements provided either a fund that did not revert to the defendant or an automatic payment to class members, distributing to class members more than $12 million.

One 2012 case resulted in a nationwide recall of a defective coffee maker, together with compensation for consumers who had already replaced the product, while another resulted in a four-year extension of a product warranty.

With one important exception, the remaining cases resulted in “claims-made” settlements that provided consumers with the opportunity to file a claim for monetary compensation. * * *

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The only settlement that truly did not provide any benefit to the class members (not a single class member made a claim), was not approved by the court, demonstrating judges are in the best position to make sure attorneys do not benefit from settlements that fail to benefit class members.



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