Opinion

How class action lawsuits often hurt more people than they help

Photo of Bob Dorigo Jones
Bob Dorigo Jones
Senior Fellow, The Center for America
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      Bob Dorigo Jones

      Bob Dorigo Jones, who serves as Senior Fellow for the Center for America, is the author of the bestselling Remove Child Before Folding, The 101 Stupidest, Silliest and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever. He is the host of a new national radio/Internet commentary, “Let’s Be Fair,” through which he shares important stories about the impact of crazy lawsuits and a litigation-happy culture on our communities and families.

      Bob has overseen high-profile programs calling attention to the absurdity of lawsuit abuse, including the internationally profiled annual Wacky Warning Labels Contest. Bob has appeared on dozens of national and international TV and radio programs, including NBC Nightly News, ABC News’ 20/20, BBC WorldNews, FOX News, and CNBC.

      Dorigo Jones, who also serves as president of Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (M-LAW), a Foundation for Fair Civil Justice partner organization, has focused for nearly two decades on educating the public about how families, communities, and job providers are hurt by out-of-control lawsuit abuse.

      Prior to joining FFCJ and M-LAW, Dorigo Jones served on the staff of the Michigan House of Representatives. He received a B.A. in economics and political philosophy from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

      Catch Bob’s latest commentaries about America’s whacked-out civil justice system on his blog at http://www.bobdorigojones.com/

There’s a check sitting on my desk with my name on it for $36.94, but I can’t bring myself to cash it.  I’ll bet you’ve received checks like this, too, and maybe you’ve even felt the same way.

The check is a distribution payment I received along with thousands of other people who were part of a class action lawsuit I never heard of.   Class action lawsuits like this have made a lot of lawyers rich, even when the people they claim to represent get only a few bucks or, in many cases, lousy coupons they’ll never use.

If you’ve received checks like this, too, you might wonder whether the lawsuit was legitimate or not.  Did the company really do anything wrong?  Do I even deserve this check?

Let’s be fair, many good lawyers have a hard time figuring out if these class action lawsuits pass the smell test.  Recently, John Stossel had a program on TV where lawyers debating both sides of this issue faced off, and it was fascinating viewing.

If you’d like to see it and learn more about how class action lawsuits often hurt more people than they help, go to my website at BobDorigoJones.com.

Bob Dorigo Jones, who serves as Senior Fellow for the Foundation for Fair Civil Justice, is the author of the bestselling Remove Child Before Folding, The 101 Stupidest, Silliest and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever. He is the host of a new national radio/Internet commentary, “Let’s Be Fair.”