Classmates.com, the big American school re-union site, has thrown in the towel in a US class action which accuses it of sending emails that violated the privacy rights of some subscribers. Classmates denies wrongdoing but has decided it is better to settle following "arms' length negotiations" with the plaintiffs. So US …
"$3 each in cash, or a $2 credit off the purchase or renewal of a www.classmates.com gold membership"
Well, if I was one of the people involved and I wanted to renew my membership, I'd take the $3 and put that towards the memership renewal...
... all round!
Nice work if you can get it. It will not be long before Lawyers take there most hate profession on the planet title back from the bankers.
Class action is for the lazy
If you want to win, go to small claims. Against big companies, the money involved for them is roughly the same as it would be to send one of their legal team to the arraignment, so often don't bother and accept the default judgement. You'll have to retain a solicitor for an couple of hours or so to draft the documents necessary and help prepare your case, but if the amount is insignificant (to them) enough you'll more than likely come out better off than with a big class action win.
By the way, I don't see the article being correct. $3 cash or $2 off renewing a Gold membership? Only a REAL idiot wouldn't take the $3, even if they wanted to renew...
As I was saying the other week....
People keep talking about how the threat of law suits keeps companies in line. Like hell it does. These settlements are always insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and the perpetrator always comes off lightly because they've saved enough money through whatever shady or careless practice they're hauled up for that they're still in the black.
There's no out-of-court settlement against a statutory fine, and it doesn't stop individuals suing for damages. "Small government" fails its electorate -- any civilised country should be protecting its citizens better than that.
As I was saying the other, other week...
We were discussing a class action here in Australia regarding banks overcharging.
In that case, there are clear, calculatable dollar value losses to clients.
You were best off betting that via the class action, you would NOT, EVER get anything like what you *actually* were overcharged.
My argument was that going in via the class action resulted in a little bit of money for you, and a whopping load of money for the lawyers. You were by far better off cutting your losses, moving banks and making up for it long term.
Turns out, a few weeks later, one of the banks decided to refund those clients who were overcharged. An amount that makes sense (it varied depending on the client).
Class actions promise the earth, and deliver... $3.00
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