Fewer than 20,000 class members have bothered to go through the arduous claim procedures in the Bayer Corp. class action, which caps recovery for most of those class members at $4 unless they saved several-year-old receipts for aspirin products. The class will ultimately receive well under $500,000.
But the attorneys—led by Hagens Berman—are asking for $5.1 million for themselves.
The fee is supposedly justified because about $8-$9 million will end up in the hands of cy pres recipients such as the American Heart Association. Of course, Bayer already gives money to the AHA (and the AHA returns the favor by endorsing Bayer aspirin over other brands of aspirin), so this is really just a change in accounting entries rather than any sort of class benefit.
I'm a class member and I have objected through my attorney Adam Schulman of the Center for Class Action Fairness.
The case is In re Bayer Corp. Combination Aspirin Prods. Mktg. & Sales Pract. Lit., No. 09-md-2023 (BMC) (E.D.N.Y.).