Class Action Suit Did Little for Class Members, But “Enriched” Attorneys

Many attorneys are good people, including my late father, one of my brothers, and one of my favorite former students.
But a few attorneys must be conscience-challenged; for instance the ones “representing” the class in the case described below.
More importantly, class-action litigation increases the costs and uncertainty of doing business, and thereby increases the prices of the products and services we buy.
In speaking to one of my classes a few years ago, Omaha entrepreneur Joe Ricketts made a strong case for tort reform. it is hard to disagree, unless, like the Democratic Party, you are receiving large contributions from trial lawyers.

(p. B1) . . . , a 2008 settlement of a class action against Ford Motor Co., involving incidents in which Firestone tires exploded on Ford Explorers, offered certain Explorer owners coupons worth $500 toward the purchase of a new Explorer and $300 toward the purchase of any other Ford vehicle.

As of March, only 148 people had redeemed a coupon out of 1,647 people eligible. The plaintiffs’ attorneys who led that litigation collected about $19 million in fees.
“It was rather absurd,” said Julie Hamilton Webber of Glendale, Calif., a class member who has a 1993 Ford Explorer. “The net result was the attorneys were enriched and did nothing for the class.”

For the full story, see:
DIONNE SEARCEY. “Toyota Owners May Reap Little.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., MAY 20, 2010): B1-B2.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article has the slightly different title “Toyota Owners May See Little.”)

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