Doug Hagmann's Insider Reports






Class Action Lawsuits, Frivolous Lawsuits

Lawsuit News

California suit on car greenhouse gases dismissed

A U.S. federal judge tossed out a lawsuit by California's attorney general on Monday seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from six automakers for damaging the state with climate-changing greenhouse gases.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers Sues God

Chambers Aims To Make Point About Frivolous Lawsuits

State Sen. Ernie Chambers is suing God. He said on Monday that it is to prove a point about frivolous lawsuits.

High-dollar settlements mark class action cases

Class action abuses may have been "substantially reduced by the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005," said James Copland, director of the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute.

But that doesn't mean outrageous settlements have become a thing of the past. Class action lawsuits remain among the favored big-ticket paths to fame and riches for trial lawyers. Attorneys fees can range anywhere from 15 to more than 30 percent of a settlement, and courts have tremendous discretion in awarding both fees and allowable attorneys costs in a case, which means a sympathetic judge can be the key to a lucrative outcome.

Unnecessary home repairs for seniors?

Frivolous Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

Monday, September 10, 2007

Most recent one picked up off the web...

A few years ago the Nevada Legislature changed the construction defect laws to give homeowners a little extra muscle to get defective homes fixed. It's called a Chapter 40.

Man says hold the cheese, claims McDonald's didn't, sues for $10 million

Frivolous Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Most recent one picked up off the web...

Man says hold the cheese, claims McDonald's didn't, sues for $10 million

A Morgantown man, his mother and his friend are suing McDonald's for $10 million.

The man says he bit into a hamburger and had a severe allergic reaction to the cheese melted on it.

Jeromy Jackson, who is in his early 20s, says he clearly ordered two Quarter Pounders without cheese at the McDonald's restaurant in Star City before heading to Clarksburg.

Reno lawyer pleads not guilty to fraud

Frivolous Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Most recent one picked up off the web...

Reno Gavette Journal: Reno lawyer pleads not guilty to fraud

A Reno lawyer was arraigned Tuesday on charges he defrauded an insurance company to win a settlement based on false testimony given by his friend.

Kevin Mirch, 49, pleaded not guilty to one count each of insurance fraud and theft and four counts of subornation of perjury.

Mirch's trial is scheduled for January and is expected to last two weeks. He is also the target of an ongoing federal investigation.

Local government lawsuits cost taxpayers $20 million

Frivolous Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Most recent one picked up off the web...

Local government lawsuits cost taxpayers $20 million

Frivolous lawsuits, settlements and extra legal help for local governments have cost Orange County taxpayers more than $20 million over the last two years, according to a report from Orange County Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Democrats keep trial lawyers happy, ignore our best interests

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Most recent one picked up off the web...

Democrats keep trial lawyers happy, ignore our best interests

Presently, almost 25 percent of all cost associated with health care, doctors, hospitals, medications, etc., are "legal cost" related. We need "leash laws for lawyers" before we can realistically expect to have any kind of effective national health care program.

ILR to Host Fundraiser for Dry Cleaners

ILR is hosting a fundraiser for the dry cleaners who were victims of a frivolous $54 million lawsuit over a pair of lost pants.

Tuesday, July 24th, 6:00-7:30pm
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

We hope you are able to join us for this fundraising event. If you are unable to attend, you can still make a donation to the Chungs' legal defense fund and send a strong message in support of the Chungs and against frivolous lawsuits.

Support the Chungs @ ChungFundraiser.com

The $54 Million Pants Suit That Wouldn't Die

Frivolous Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

Friday, July 6, 2007

He's baaaa-ack: Roy Pearson, the D.C. administrative law judge who filed, fought and lost a $54 million lawsuit against the Korean immigrants who own his neighborhood dry cleaners, chose the Fourth of July holiday to make it clear that he will not be going away.

From $65 million to zero for Judge Roy Pearson's missing pants

By Judi McLeod

Monday, June 25, 2007

Judge Roy Pearson, whose demands for $65 million for a pair of lost trousers, may have ended up losing his shirt in court.

Sounding very much like the non-nonsense Judge Judy of television fame, Washington Superior Court Judge Judy Bartnoff ruled that Pearson had not proven that Custom Cleaners dry cleaning shop had lost his prized pants in the first place.

'Ele-pant' case needs real Judge Judy

By Judi McLeod

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Roy Pearson's demand for $65 million in damages from a neighbourhood dry cleaners should go down in legal history as the Case of the 'Ele-pants'.

The D.C. judge who sued his neighbourhood dry cleaners all for losing his pants has got to be the personification of capital "F" frivolous lawsuits.

In a world where parents survive children killed by predators, Pearson, an administrative law judge, broke down while testifying about the emotional pain of having the cleaners give him the wrong trousers.

U.S. Chamber: 'Broken Lawsuit System' Hurts Small Businesses

The tort system in the United States cost small businesses $98 billion in 2005, with the fear of lawsuits altering the way the small business owners make decisions, according to studies released at a Congressional hearing by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).

"The simple fact is this: our broken lawsuit system is a serious problem for America's small businesses, costing jobs and dampening the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation at the very core of America's greatness," ILR president Lisa Rickard told members of the House Small Business Committee.

How Much Are Frivolous Lawsuits Really Costing You?

"What Is Lawsuit Abuse Costing Your Family?" asked a full-page ad that ran this week in several major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal. The alleged answer: $3,520 a year.

The ads, paid for by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, a Washington, D.C., pro-business group, also ran in the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post, and appear on WSJ.com.

Borrower beware: Lesson on loans learned in court

Frivolous Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Twenty-two investors now in their 60s and 70s borrowed money to buy mutual funds late in the 1990s. Before long, they suffered losses.

Without the loans, they could not have afforded the mutual funds. On the flip side, they could not afford the loans when stock prices fell.

But stock markets had been roaring ever higher -- as in the past four years. Investment seminars drew big crowds, and many advisers pushed people to buy funds using loans secured by the funds, or by home equity.

10 Most Outragreous Frivolous Lawsuits

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

1. 1991, Richard Overton sued Anheuser-Busch for $10,000. He claimed to have suffered emotional distress, mental injury, and financial loss because drinking beer did not make his fantasies of beautiful women in tropical settings come to life, as he claimed it had advertised, driving him to buy and drink more Bud Light. The case was dismissed.

Medical Justice Celebrates Five Years Of Protecting Good Doctors Against Bad Lawyers

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Although P.A.P.A. has made great strides in keeping the medical liability reform debate alive on both the state and national level, there is still much to be done before Pennsylvania and New Jersey tort reform becomes a reality.

Judge Blasts Plaintiff's Lawyers in Denying Class Certification

Posted by Peter Lattman
Thursday, April 26, 2007

"The conduct in this action does not look good, does not sound good, and does not smell good. In fact, it reeks . . . . It is clear from the record that plaintiffs counsel, and not plaintiff, is the driving force behind this action."

Those fighting words came from the Marilyn Hall Patel, a federal judge in San Francisco who denied class certification yesterday in a lawsuit filed against Oreck Direct, the vacuum-cleaner company. Here's the opinion.

Lawyer's Price For Missing Pants: $65 Million

By Marc Fisher
Thursday, April 26, 2007; Page B01

When the neighborhood dry cleaner misplaced Roy Pearson's pants, he took action. He complained. He demanded compensation. And then he sued. Man, did he sue.

Two years, thousands of pages of legal documents and many hundreds of hours of investigative work later, Pearson is seeking to make Custom Cleaners pay -- would you believe more than the payroll of the entire Washington Nationals roster?

Homeowners face $2.2 Million in Trial Costs

Posted , April 27, 2007

From Residential Design & Build, May, 2006

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- In a judgment entered late in March, owners of more than 12 homes in Orange County lost their construction defects lawsuit and face the prospect of paying $2.2 million in trial costs. Plaintiffs claimed concrete foundations were damaged by soil sulfates. The Orange County Superior Court judge reiterated his preliminary decision in favour of the defenant in a case based on claims that concrete foundations of more than a dozen homes in Southern California were damaged by sulfates in the soil.

Firms see disorder in courts

By Gilbert Chan - Bee Staff Writer
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dubbing California the "sue-you" state, business leaders vowed Wednesday to press lawmakers for tougher limits on punitive jury awards and class-action lawsuits.

The campaign comes as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce chides California for having one of the least business-friendly legal systems among the 50 states.

In its annual survey of corporate attorneys nationwide, the chamber ranked California 45th based upon such criteria as the number of class-action lawsuits approved by judges and large jury awards in civil cases. Los Angeles ranked at the bottom for cities. Delaware topped the list, and West Virginia was ranked last.

Survey: California Susceptible to Class Action Lawsuits

April 25, 2007

California's class action law ranks 46th in the nation in fairness and reasonableness, according to an annual national ranking of state civil justice systems. The rankings were released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform.

"Simply put, California has the fifth-worst class action law in the country," said John H. Sullivan, president of the Civil Justice Association of California. "It's time for the Legislature to install balance and clarity and make this part of the civil justice system work for all Californians. Until the Legislature does, consumers will continue to pay for these lawsuits through higher prices of everyday goods and services."

Kamilewicz v. Bank of Boston

One major benefit of the Class Action Fairness Act is that it will require plaintiffs' attorneys in class action suits to receive benefits only equivalent to the actual value provided to the class. This, notwithstanding criticism from the litigation lobby, is clearly pro-consumer, because consumers, rather than lawyers, will be getting the bulk of any nuisance settlements resulting from meritless class actions. A second benefit is that it creates clear federal jurisdiction in nationwide class actions--an issue that was previously a huge problem for corporations sued in state courts. Such corporations couldn't guarantee that a nationwide settlement they reached in one state court would be recognized in another state court. Federal settlements, due to the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, don't have this problem.

In that Alabama case, plaintiffs' attorneys represented a nationwide class against BancBoston over the calculation of interest for escrow accounts. They argued that the benefits to a class member of getting their escrow funds released to them a month earlier was the entire value of the funds--after all, the plaintiff might be able to double his money! As a law review article explains:

Class counsel asked for attorney's fees equaling 33 1/3% of all the money the bank was wrongfully holding in escrow; that is, one-third of all the excessive cushion money. The trick was in characterizing all that money as money recovered by this lawsuit. Had there been no lawsuit, 100% of the excess cushion would have been returned to class members at the time their mortgages were repaid. Therefore, what the lawsuit recovered for each class member was (in addition to the back interest) only the difference between the value of the excess cushion money in the class member's hands today and the value of the money had the bank held it until the mortgage was paid off. The lawsuit and class counsel did not "recover" the excessive cushion money being held in escrow because that money was never lost. All that the class members had lost by the bank's allegedly wrongful acts was the use of that money today and the use of that money in years past.

S. Koniak & G. Cohen, Under Cloak of Settlement, 82 Va. L. Rev. 1051, 1063 (1996).

The settlement prohibited BancBoston from objecting to attorneys' fees; the notice sent to the class didn't warn them that their attorneys would seek to use this methodology to calculate fees. Thus, in the resulting fairness hearing, a judge agreed, and awarded funds, to be deducted out of the escrow accounts, based on this exaggerated calculation. The attorneys won up to $8.76 for each of the plaintiffs--and obtained a deduction of 5.32% of each class member's escrow accounts to pay for the attorney fees. Thus an Alabama court dictated that Maine resident Dexter Kamilewicz received a $2.19 credit and a $91.33 debit for attorney's fees in his Florida bank account. Worse, Kamilewicz got sued by his purported attorney when he publicly objected to the ripoff. Unfortunately, the federal courts failed to intervene,


















Pursuant to Title 17 U.S.C. 107, other copyrighted work is provided for educational purposes, research, critical comment, or debate without profit or payment. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Views are those of authors and not necessarily those of Canada Free Press. Content is Copyright 1998-2014 the individual authors.

Site Copyright 1998-2014 Canada Free Press.Com Privacy Statement