PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich recently filed a brief in the District of Arizona asking the Court to deny preliminary approval to a proposed Motel 6 ICE class action settlement that is almost certain to divert millions in settlement cash from class members to charities with no direct connection to the class.
The case arises out of claims that Motel 6 employees voluntarily disclosed guests’ personal information to ICE agents resulting in interrogations and in some cases immigration removal proceedings. The current proposed settlement is structured in a way that diverts the vast majority of the $7.6 million in settlement cash to four different charities that deal with border and immigration issues generally and will be unlikely to directly benefit the class members affected in this case.
In this brief, Attorney General Brnovich asks Judge David Campbell, who has already expressed concern about the cy pres arrangement in this settlement, to deny preliminary approval and send the parties back to renegotiate a better settlement that properly directs the eventual settlement proceeds into the hands of the class members. As the brief explains, this type of settlement, where the majority of the settlement fund will be given to charities with no direct benefit to the class, and the vast majority of class members release a sweeping array of claims, cannot be considered fair, adequate, or reasonable.
This filing represents the most recent in a long line of cases in which the Attorney General’s Office has filed a brief urging a court to reject a settlement in order to ensure that only settlements that provide adequate compensation for the harmed class receive court approval.
A copy of the brief.