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LaGarde v. Support.com: $31,475 for the class, $700,000 for the attorneys

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Support.com offered a free "checkup" of computer safety; according to plaintiffs who sued, this was a scam that overstated the dangers and computer errors in a system to induce people to buy $29 software or a $4.99/month subscription service. LaGarde v. Support.com quickly settled for $10 a class member. Whatever the claims process was, it didn't impress the class: less than 0.2% of class members made claims. For the same reason that no one brings an individual claim for $29, no one objected to the settlement. After the parties boosted the claim value to $25 (without any notice to class members who might have taken the trouble to ask for $25 when it wasn't worth their time to ask for $10) and throwing in $200,000 to cy pres, the district court rubber-stamped the settlement and fee petition when no one objected. That $700,000 was 1.4 times what was likely an inflated lodestar of $500,000, so the attorneys suffered no consequences for freezing out 99.8% of the class, who got nothing. And Support.com got rid of consumer-fraud claims for the low low price of about $1.25 a class member, the vast majority of which went to attorneys. Consumer Watchdog, an organization that purports to be consumer advocates, seems not to complain that it received $100,000, more than three times as much as the consumers it purports to advocate for.

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

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