Verizon Refund and Other Class Action Lawsuits
announced they were refunding customers up to $90 million
for $1.99 a megabyte data access fees that were wrongly billed. 15 million affected customers can expect to receive $2 to $6 refunds on their October or November bills. Some will receive even bigger credits. And if you are no longer with the carrier, you can expect a check in the mail. Keep an eye out.
While it might seem like Verizon is finally stepping up to the plate to show they value customer service, no doubt part of the motivation to make things right with users of their cellphone service was a class action lawsuit
filed in New Jersey in February as well as an ongoing investigation by the FCC
Class action lawsuits happen more often than we think. Nordstrom was ordered to pay $8.9 million
in a suit brought by commissioned employees back in July 2010. However, it was unsettling to me that $2.5 million of it was paid by merchandise coupons instead of cash. Nordstrom justified the coupon payout stating that since some members would get less than $20, paying them by coupon would save them the tax money. How about just not taxing them?
was also involved in another class action suit, along with other big name department stores such as Macy's
, Saks Fifth Avenue
and Neiman Marcus
, that revolved around allegations of "price fixing" of cosmetics
. The settlement included $175 million worth of free cosmetics handed out to those who had made a cosmetics purchase between May 1994 and June 2003. Although the suit was settled in 2004, affected customers didn't get
their one free product worth $25 or less until 2009.
Back in 1994, a $4.75 billion silicone breast implant global settlement
was reached. Dow Corning, Bristol-Meyers Squib, Baxter Healthcare Corp. and several other defendants were ordered to put $4 billion into specific funds which would be paid out to women with breast implants over a period of thirty years. The reason for the suit was due to health risks of breast implants manufactured between 1974-1984 and to cover expenses of patients alleging injuries and removal.Exxon Mobil settled a $500 million lawsuit
in 2001 for the Valdez oil spill back in 1989 that affected 1,300 miles of coastline. The suit consisted of 32,000 fishermen, Alaska natives, landowners and others who were greatly affected by the 11 million gallons of spilled oil. With interest, the total award to the plaintiffs was $1.515 billion. While you'd think this would teach oil companies to be more vigilant about the environment, BP is currently facing a $10 billion dollar lawsuit
for the recent Gulf oil disaster.
So, what do lawyers stand to make from class action suits? Enron's 2006 lawsuit made attorneys $1 billion
in the $7.2 billion settlement. The $7.2 billion compensated shareholders whose stocks became worthless when the company collapsed due to fraud. If the $1 billion was divided by 20 attorneys working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks for 4 years, the fee would be $6,250 an HOUR
How's that for a good payday?
Do you think class action lawsuit payouts are fair? How about the legal fees that attorneys stand to make?