Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another victory for CCAF: Pecover v. EA Sports triples class payouts

You will recall that we objected to a class action settlement over EA Sports's Madden games: as in our successful Baby Products objection, the settlement did little to ensure that class members got paid, while the attorneys would get millions regardless whether any class members received any cash. We argued that class members should get first dibs on the settlement fund before money went to unrelated third-party charities. The court agreed in part, and the parties consented to modifying the settlement to permit both a tripling of the money available to consumers, and another thirty days for consumers to make claims. Coverage of the new notice (though not the litigation that led to that tripling) at Kotaku and Consumerist. Would it be too needy to ask for some blog love?

Already, the number of claims has doubled: combined with the tripling of claim amounts, we're looking at over a 500% increase in the amount of money going to consumers. In a just world, we'd get five sixths of the gigantic attorney fee (after all, class counsel ridiculed our objection and defended the degree to which their own clients were going to be shafted), but we'll settle for making a more modest request, to be paid from the $9.2 million class counsel has argued they are due to receive, with any amounts over our lodestar to be donated to the class or the Federal Judicial Center.

Monday, April 15, 2013

In today's Wall Street Journal

Today's Wall Street Journal covers one element of the fee dispute in Citigroup Securities. More discussion at Point of Law, together with links from coverage of last week's fairness hearing.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Victory in Bayer

As a result of our objection in the Bayer class action settlement, the parties modified the settlement to increase direct payments to the class by over $5.8 million, over 25 times as much as the class would have received in the cy pres-heavy settlement had we not objected. A second objection to one of the cy pres recipients resulted in a beneficiary more aligned with the purpose of the litigation. The district court has not yet finalized its decision on the fees to be awarded to plaintiffs' counsel. We'll be seeking modest attorneys' fees to come out of class counsel's share; if we are awarded more than $50,000 (less than 1% of the additional benefit to class members), we'll cede the rest to the settlement fund.