Debate of the Week #6: Class Action Lawsuits
Here’s what I think:
Against, against, against! Evil I say! Horribly, despicably evil!
Greedy scumbag lawyers recruiting as many so-called “victims” as possible into a massive lawsuit designed exclusively for the purpose of squeezing the biggest judgment possible out of the defendant so they can get rich while tossing the scraps to their hundreds or thousands of clients. After a class action is won by the offending lawyer he/she takes at least a third of the settlement as the personal fee, then up to another third to cover “legal expenses and personnel” the remaining third or less is what finally gets spread around the many clients who joined in the lawsuit. The lawyer makes millions, even tens of millions and the clients get hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars in return.
The vetting process for joining in class action lawsuits is weak to nonexistent. It’s this way for a reason: so the lawyers can slap as many people on the plaintiff list as possible to get the highest payout possible. Many people have fraudulently joined class action lawsuits simply because they were asked if they wanted in on it.
The lawyers do recruit as many people as possible too. Who among us hasn’t seen a commercial that’s part of a nation wide campaign asking people to join in a class action lawsuit? How about the same on the radio? How about getting letters in the mail asking you to join a lawsuit against a company that provides a product you have never used? What about the same in you email? These are expensive ad campaigns, and they are being paid for because the lawyers prosecuting the case know that if they win, and they usually do, they will reap personal financial rewards far greater than their initial investment, not because they actually care about their clients in any way.
We all pay for this travesty. We pay for it in the form of higher prices for goods that companies must charge just to stay afloat after being robbed of millions or hundreds of millions, or as in the case of Big Tobacco, billions of dollars. We pay for it in needed drugs and other products that never hit the market because despite the essential purpose they serve the risks involved for the company are too great when compared to the payout. Imagine hearing this from Merk “Sure, we developed a cure for AIDS ten years ago, but we couldn’t release it because it kills one out every thousand people who takes it. AIDS has a 100% mortality rate, but we still would have been sued out of existence by the families of the people who died from the drug. So rather than saving 999 out of every thousand AIDS victims we just had to let them all die.” Don’t think crap like this hasn’t happened.
What do you think?