View Full Version : Class Action Lawsuits

8-23-11, 3:17pm
From time to time I get these in the mail - the latest has to do with Washington Mutual Bank and excessive fees.

Have you ever filled out the forms and returned them? Have you ever received any settlement money? I get the feeling the attorneys are the big winners here?!

8-23-11, 3:25pm
I've gotten those from time to time, too, and I usually opt out (and not because I want to file my own lawsuit!). A lot of them seem like people, spurred on by lawyers (who, yes are probably the only actual winners), trying to get something for nothing from an evil corporation (not that I don't think some corporations are evil, nor do I think they shouldn't pay for wrongdoing).

The only one I ever returned was one against Costco for improper membership renewal tactics, because I was pretty sure they had done it to me. And no, I never got any money from it.

My biggest problem with class action lawsuits is that the claimants are, at best, going to get a miniscule amount of money each. What's the point of everyone collecting their $10? And imagine the processing fees and attorney fees charged? The bulk some should instead go to an appropriate charity or public fund, to benefit a larger number of people.


8-23-11, 3:31pm
As we have a number of stock investments, over the years we've gotten some of these......I fill them out, and several years later, have gotten checks......Remember, with the number of stockholders involved, even a multimillion dollar award translates into a small amount of money per stockholder or per share of stock. I think we've gotten everything from a couple of bucks to maybe a hundred dollars from these things over the years.

I'm sure the only people who really make out are the attorneys who handle the suits, but the "return on investment" of filling out the forms can add up to a very nice hourly wage, if you want to look at it that way. Takes only a few minutes and the nice surprise of a small "check in the mail" sometime in the future can be fun.

Just don't expect to hear anything for several years or more, and if and when you do, don't expect to get rich, or even have your share of the settlement amount to more than a small amount of money.

8-23-11, 4:46pm
There was a settlement for price fixing on CD's (music ones, not financial ones) many years ago - I sent it in and got, $7? $17? I don't remember.

8-23-11, 4:51pm
One time... replied and received either $12 or $15.

8-23-11, 5:43pm
I've returned a few of them. Sometimes it's easy to find the info they need and send back. I don't recall ever getting more than maybe $45 and it takes forever., but hey, it's free money. My accountant has laughed when I've broughtn these in with my annual taxes and thinks it's mostly to benefit the lawyers. The last one I got was so confunsing I just tossed it.

8-23-11, 7:22pm
It's the insurance ones that get me. Why do they need me to prove that I had their insurance? Surely they know I did or they wouldn't be sending me info. Anyway, I do fill them out and at times have gotten small amounts back. The lawyers are going to be paid in any case. So I might as well get my share.

8-23-11, 7:52pm
I filled one out a few years ago (settlement amount unknown) and forgot about it. Christmas of 2009, we were not doing well financially, and out of the blue I received a check for enough money to buy gifts. It was amazing. But usually it's like 15 or 20.00. Heck, if it only takes me fifteen minutes, I'll do it. If it goes through, that's $80.00/hr I've made :)

8-25-11, 10:50pm
I've gotten money from 3 class action lawsuits in my lifetime. Like another poster I got money on the CD one, maybe $17. Another time I got about $20 for credit card fees related to unfair exchange rates for foreign purchases. I'd been to Canada a couple of times during the period affected, so I was part of the class.

Most recently I was part of a suit against my current employer related to whether I, as part of the class, could be considered exempt from overtime. (curiously I"m still considered exempt even though the class won the suit. I'm not sure what that's about, but I don't figure I should ask my boss... :~) ) In this case I had to opt out if I didn't want to participate, which I didn't realize until too late to do so. As a result I got a $4,000 windfall after taxes. But in that case the class was relatively small compared to the settlement amount.