Class Action Madness Continues
Posted by Tom Scott on February 7th, 2013
2013 could have been the year that our nation turned over a new leaf and stopped the mindless class action lawsuits that have plagued businesses in the United States for years. Unfortunately, it is already too late.
I’ve already received several class action lawsuit notifications in the mail, and it’s only February. I’ve received information about lawsuits involving Thrifty Car Rental, Rob Stutzman and Lance Armstrong and the Subway Footlong sandwich. But my breaking point was this past weekend when I received a notice regarding the Fraley Facebook Settlement.
Here is the backstory: Facebook unlawfully used the names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities of Facebook users in the United States to advertise and sell products and services through Sponsored Stories without obtaining those users’ consent. An ad might have appeared that said, “Tom Scott played Farmville,” or “Tom Scott shared a link.”
The horror! The fact that they thought my image might actually sell a product is actually kind of flattering to me. Others, though, don’t feel the same way, and filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook. The lawsuit was recently settled for $20 million, with each class member receiving up to $10.
But here’s the kicker: the enterprising plaintiff’s lawyers who settled the case are requesting $7.5 million, plus $282,566.49 to cover their costs. You read that correctly – members of the class receive $10, while the attorneys that pulled off this heist want millions.
Does this seem to be a sham to anyone else? Class action lawsuits like these do nothing but enrich trial lawyers, period. Lawsuits like these greatly increase the cost of doing business across the board – costs that must be offset through higher prices for goods and services across the board. We need legal reform to stop this nonsense.