Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Urban Active Fitness class action settlement

The class in Gascho v. Global Fitness Holdings LLC, Case No. 2:11-cv-436 (S.D. Ohio), consists of the 606,246 individuals who signed a gym membership or personal training contract with Urban Active Fitness between January 1, 2006 and October 26, 2012. You might be one of the people who received a postcard.

The fact that the parties can identify the number with specificity suggests that a settlement is simple: give money to the allegedly injured class members. But instead one must make a claim (by mail or by the settlement website, The reasoning for that is simple: class counsel would rather that the money to go to settle the lawsuit go to themselves and their friends, the settlement administrator company, rather than the class.

Earlier this year, the Sixth Circuit in In re Dry Max Pampers Litigation condemned sham settlements that allocated a disproportionate sum of money to class counsel. This settlement will pay $2.4 million to class counsel (from a segregated fund that reverts to the defendant) and, most likely, only $1.3 million to the putative clients—exactly the sort of thing the Sixth Circuit said was impermissible.

One hopes that a class member who received a postcard investigates the unfairness of the settlement and retains qualified counsel to object. The claims deadline and the objection deadline is December 30.

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