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Barber Auto Sales v. UPS

What's the class action attorney to do when they want to recover $4 million in fees, but the defendant is only willing to put up a settlement worth $6 million? Well, it's time to get creative: if you've brought a lawsuit alleging overcharges, construct an entirely imaginary $10 million fund to cover "future overcharges" and call that a $10-million class benefit—though it obviously costs the defendant nothing, since they only have to pay the money if they continue the allegedly wrongful overcharges in the first place, creating a new cause of action. Then shield the fee request by putting it in a separate fund that reverts to the defendant. Then ensure that you don't get any objections by making it inordinately expensive for any member of the national class who isn't local to the courthouse to participate in the fairness hearing. All of this is quite objectionable, and the Center for Class Action Fairness has objected on behalf of two clients. The case is Barber Auto Sales, Inc. v. United Parcel Service Co., Inc., No. 5:06-cv-04686-IPJ (N.D. Ala.).

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.