Throughout my lifetime I’ve been involved in a few Class-Action lawsuits as a consumer. They’ve all had rather disappointing results. The latest one came to my attention this morning. Apparently I had filed a claim, though I have no specific memory of that fact. The prospect of getting paid for being ripped off lured me in. I received notice that a payment had been transferred to my PayPal account. Yay! I’m in the money!! There was no real information attached, just the name of the settlement so I mounted my trusted steed, Google, to go on a fish-fact-finding mission to discover the details of this glorious settlement. Here’s what I discoverred.
If you purchased one or more of the StarKist Products from February 19, 2009 through October 31, 2014, this website informs you of a proposed Class-Action Settlement that you may benefit from.
The Lawsuit claims that StarKist Co. (“StarKist”) under-filled certain 5 oz. canned tuna products in violation of state and federal law. StarKist denies that it underfilled its products and denies that it did anything wrong. The Court did not rule in favor of Plaintiff or StarKist. Instead, the parties agreed to a Proposed Settlement to avoid the expense and risks of continuing the lawsuit.
Digging further into the abiss of legality I came across the actual 15 page settlement document. The fine print of this marvelous goldmine of information, and it’s all fine print, was that the Starkist Company had agreed to pay out $12,000,000, that’s twelve million dollars for those multi-zero-math-challenged people, for coming up short in the tuna packing debacle.
That’s $12Million – Sorry Charlie!
The $12M would be divided into two categiroes, $8M in cash and $4M in vouchers, or fish certificates, for Starkist products.
Further down this fishy fiasco of a document it states that there are attorney fees that need to be deducted first and foremost. Plus… the attorneys get reimbursement of “costs and expenses”. So, the attorneys will receive up to one-third of the settlement, so that’s $2,400,000 in cash and $1,200,000 in fish certificates for the lawyers plus costs and expenses. Then the “settlement administrator” would get up to $675,000 to cover costs and expenses. There are a few more stipulations in the document that would disperse a few thousand dollars each to several of the original plaintiffs.
The document then proposes that the remainder of the funds be distributed to all the Class-Action plaintiffs. That’s where I come in! The plaintiffs would receive either $25 in cash or $50 in fish certificates with this added caveat: You may choose to claim the cash payment or the product vouchers, whichever you prefer. These claim amounts may be subject to pro rata dilution if the total amount of claims exceeds the available settlement funds.
So, a quick look at my PayPal account shows that I reeled in a whopping $2.38.