Sunglass settlement scuttled for lack of standing to seek injunctive relief

Plaintiffs filed  class actions against Costa, a sunglasses manufacturer, for charging them over $100 to repair sunglasses that had been covered by lifetime warranties. The cases were consolidated, and an amended complaint requested both monetary damages and injunctive relief.

The parties reached a settlement, agreeing on payments in the form of product vouchers and injunctive relief to change label and warranty practice, with the value of any unredeemed vouchers being distributed as a cy pres payment. The district court approved the settlement, finding, among other things, that it was not a coupon settlement under CAFA. A group of objectors appealed on a number of grounds.

The Eleventh Circuit vacated the settlement, on the ground that the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue injunctive relief because they alleged no risk of future harm and that the district court therefore had erred in considering the value of injunctive relief in determining the reasonableness of the settlement. The court of appeals remanded the case to the district court for further consideration.

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