PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a letter brief urging a federal court in California to reject an imbalanced class action settlement relating to Wilson & DeMarini softball bats that would give the class action lawyers in the case the majority of the settlement and leave consumers taking home only coupons of questionable value.
Hiroyuki Oda, et al. v. Wilson Sporting Goods Co. alleged that Wilson Sporting Goods Co. sold certain 2013 and 2014 model softball bats called the “White Steel” that were (1) defectively designed (bats fail prematurely due to defects) and (2) refused to honor warranties. The judge in the case questioned the class action settlement fee arrangement, noting that the lawyers would take home almost half a million dollars in fees while leaving the 10,240 class members with $75 or $35 coupons. Attorney General Brnovich’s letter urges the Court to step in, protect consumers, and reject the deal in order to prevent that unfair outcome from happening.
"Under the settlement, lawyers walk away with a big check. Meanwhile consumers get a highly restrictive and possibly worthless coupon,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "Most consumers would have to spend a significant amount of their own money just to use the coupon, further confirming that consumers are getting a raw deal here. When attorneys settle class actions to benefit themselves instead of their clients, it’s an abuse of the system, and courts should not tolerate it.”
Attorney General Brnovich continues to lead bipartisan efforts to protect consumers from being abused in connection with class action settlements. To date, this is the 7th action filed by the Arizona Attorney General's Office to object to unfair settlements.
“Protecting consumers in the class action settlement process continues to be our top priority," added Brnovich. "Our efforts to date, and the briefs we have filed with bipartisan support, have produced meaningful results for consumers, including improved settlement terms that make sure that consumers get a real benefit from class action settlements that affect their rights.”
Full copy of the letter.