How class action lawsuits often hurt more people than they help

Bob Dorigo Jones Senior Fellow, The Center for America
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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.”