Washington Examiner: Court ruling shows need for class-action reform

Published: February 25, 2013
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Ted Frank, of the Center for Class Action Fairness, successfully argued the case against the settlement in the Third Circuit. This is the fifth such case he has won out of seven he has brought against settlements he believed to be unjust toward the plaintiff class.

Aside from the results of the cases he has won, Frank's work has helped highlight the abuses rampant in class-action litigation. A small number of attorneys have figured out ways to game the system. They find some very small harm done to a very large number of people, then bring a lawsuit (often of dubious merit) against a deep-pocketed corporation. In the end, each individual actually harmed gets little or nothing (often the payout to them is a worthless coupon), and a small number of trial lawyers receive millions.

There is a real place in our legal system for class-action cases. They allow large numbers of people to recover something when they suffer a harm that is too small to bother with on an individual basis. But reforms are needed so that this area of law is more than a fishing expedition by trial lawyers in search of a huge payout.

— The Washington Examiner