Judge Richard Posner is usually good for a quote or two, and he used a recent 7th Circuit opinion to make his feelings clear about a certain class action claim.In 2008, Posner threw out the lower court class certification for a claim brought by Steven Thorogood. Thorogood wanted class certification for his suit against Sears, which alleged that the company misled consumers about the make-up of a dryer drum, The Am Law Litigation Daily reported.
After the class certification was denied, Sears offered Thorogood $20,000 to settle, even though his claim was only worth a maximum of $3,000. But the plaintiff then asked a lower court to award Thorogood his full $246,000 in attorneys fees. The lower court denied the request, and Posner affirmed, strongly:
Am Law Lit Daily: “The $246,000 in fees that the plaintiff seeks to be reimbursed for were incurred in attempting to maintain the suit as a class action; no sane person incurs fees in that amount to prosecute a claim worth at most $3,000,” wrote Judge Posner (speaking, we’d venture to say, for just about all sane people). “The plaintiff’s effort to exalt his meager claim into a sprawling nationwide class action was a flop. Sears should not have to bear the entire cost of the flop.”
Thorogood’s attorney came back with a quote of his own and disputed facts in the opinion. Clint Krislov of Krislov & Associates told Am Law that the ruling was a “cheap shot sarcasm.” He said he never asked for $246,000 in attorneys’ fees, but that he wanted to go to trial to try to get $17,000 in attorneys fees, a request the district judge denied.
Read Am Law’s full report here.
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