By: Mark Iandolo
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Jan. 16 that he is urging a California federal court to reject what he says is an imbalanced class action softball bats settlement.
"Under the settlement lawyers walk away with a big check. Meanwhile, consumers get a highly restrictive and possibly worthless coupon,” Brnovich said. "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. 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.”
The case is Hiroyuki Oda, et al. v. Wilson Sporting Goods Co. The plaintiffs argued Wilson sold softball bats that were defective and then refused to honor warranties related to those bats. The case’s settlement involves a possible outcome where lawyers would earn nearly $500,000 while the 10,240 consumers would receive coups worth $75 or $45.
“Protecting consumers in the class action settlement process continues to be our top priority," Brnovich said. "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.”